The WCO launches the nCEN application in the ESA region

04 December 2013

The WCO announces the official launch of its national Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) application in the East and Southern Africa region. Following the pilot projects in Mauritius and Kenya, Namibia became the first country to implement the complete nCEN software package, including its Icomm feature.

Speaking to the participants of the WCO nCEN Workshop in Windhoek, the Commissioner of Namibia Customs and Excise, Mr. Bevan.S.Simataa, emphasized the importance of the WCO project "Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region", and declared that Namibia will be a successful example of the benefits that the nCEN application can bring to the region. The nCEN component of the project, financially supported by the Finish government, aims at providing Customs Administrations with the necessary hardware and software as well as related knowledge and skills to implement simplified and improved customs procedures with modern customs operational techniques.

For the nCEN Workshop in Windhoek, ten participants have been selected as leaders of the nCEN project from a pool of seven hundred sixty three customs officers from different regions of Namibia. This elite group will provide future training to their colleagues on the functionality of the nCEN application, thus promoting an active use of the system throughout the entire Namibian border sector.

Following shortly the launch in Namibia, Swaziland is the second country in the region to have successfully installed the complete nCEN software package, also under the auspices of the WCO project "Building Trade Capacity through Customs Modernization in the East and Southern Africa Region". The recently completed nCEN Workshop in Mbabane equipped a group of ten chosen participants with the theoretical and practical knowledge of the nCEN application necessary to incorporate it into this Customs Administration’s operational processes.

Both national workshops, led by a WCO expert and an experienced trainer from Mauritius, also touched upon the other applications in the CEN suite, giving a valuable insight into the additional analytical possibilities provided by the global CEN database, or the operational support available through the CENcomm application.

The nCEN application assists with the collection, storage, analysis, and dissemination of law enforcement data at the national level in order to establishing robust intelligence capabilities, to enhance profiling on a strategic, tactical, and operational level, and to boost information-sharing between Customs Administrations on a regional and international scale. It consists of several complimentary components, namely three independent databases (seizure database, suspect database, company database), as well as a secure internal communication system. The Information Communication Interface (Icomm) included in the nCEN allows for the exchange of data on seizure cases with other Customs Administrations using the application (provided the existence of a legal premise), and/or the transfer of the non-nominal components of the data directly to the global CEN database.

More information about the nCEN can be obtained by contacting the WCO CEN Program at The nCEN software is free for all WCO Members. The costs of the hardware needed to run the nCEN application, the costs associated with the training, and possible costs for modifications to the local IT infrastructure (if applicable), are however the responsibility of the implementing Customs Administration.