Brussels Declaration adopted at the 18th Conference of Customs Directors General of Francophone countries

05 July 2013

On 1-2 July 2013, Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, participated in the 18th Conference of Directors General of Customs of totally or partially Francophone countries, held in Brussels and hosted by the Belgian Customs and Excise Administration.

The participants, including representatives from international institutions and donors, discussed the following topics : the fight against wildlife crime; cybercrime; supply chain security; Globally Networked Customs; free zones and free trade areas; Coordinated Border Management; Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs); Customs unions; the contribution of regional organizations in the performance of Customs operations; international cooperation; the policy framework and implementation of capacity building; and, finally, training and technical assistance in the detection of counterfeiting. 

The participants in the Conference formulated a set of recommendations, which were adopted on 2 July as the Brussels Declaration. In particular, the Conference stressed the fundamental role of the WCO as a centre of excellence in Customs matters at the international level.  It encouraged the Organization to develop training in cybercrime, to provide more training in the field of AEO, and finally to create a framework of international standards for modern technology for tracking goods. 

The Conference also recommended that Customs administrations build capacity based on the WCO capacity building programme and that they participate in WCO projects to develop utility blocks that will enable Customs to improve cooperation, with the objective of further facilitating international trade and the combating of fraud.

The participants expressed their appreciation to the Administrator General of Belgian Customs and Excise, Noël Colpin, for the excellent organization of the Conference and for  the hospitality shown by the team of officials from Belgian Customs and Excise.