Round Table on high-level dialogue on Customs issues takes place in Tokyo

28 March 2012

Japan, 26-27 March 2012


Under the framework of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), Japan Customs organized a Round Table on high-level dialogue with Customs administrations from member countries of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) on 26 and 27 March 2012 in Tokyo.

Six Directors General of Customs of UEMOA countries, the UEMOA Secretariat, the WCO Secretary General, the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) in Abidjan and the WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) in Dakar were invited to participate in the Round Table to identify areas of Customs cooperation and explore the way forward for Customs reform and modernization in West Africa, based on WCO tools and programmes.

TICAD is a conference held every five years in Tokyo, co-hosted by Japan and relevant UN agencies to promote high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners with an emphasis on African ownership of its development and partnership between Africa and the international community. TICAD IV in 2008 stressed the importance of trade facilitation and the role Customs and the WCO play in this field, including One-Stop Border Posts.

Participants exchanged their experience in the UEMOA and Japan on a wide range of areas, including trade facilitation, revenue collection, the fight against drug trafficking, protection of IPR, and capacity building. They also had an opportunity to observe Customs operations in Japan and were briefed on WCO tools and programmes applicable to these operational areas.

It was agreed to continue the dialogue and start a cooperation programme using WCO expertise. The outcomes of the Round Table will support regional integration in West Africa and will be an element for the agenda of TICAD V which is scheduled to take place in 2013. The WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, welcomed the Customs dialogue between Africa and Japan and reiterated the WCO's willingness to facilitate donor interaction.