Strategic Planning Support to Lebanese Customs

22 December 2015

Upon request of Lebanese Customs, a WCO support mission was conducted from 14 to 18 December 2015 in Beirut to help the administration draft its Strategic Plan taking due account of the WCO most essential instruments, as well as modern strategic planning methods.

The workshop provided an opportunity to familiarize participants with the methodologies and benefits of effective strategic planning and the development of appropriate Mission / Vision / Values and Strategic Goals / Objectives / Activities / Indicators. It offered also the occasion to provide advice and guidance on the development of a new long-term Strategic Plan that is aligned to core strategic priorities of the Government and the Customs administration.

During the five day workshop, discussions focused on the need to create a new strategic perspective to satisfy the requirements of modern Customs in the 21st Century. Particular attention was paid to results-based management to deliver customs modernization projects more effectively. The mission also touched upon the need to discuss the importance of organizational design and structure. As one knows, an outdated structure can result in unnecessary ambiguity and confusion and often a bewildering morass of contradictions: confusion within roles, a lack of co-ordination among functions, failure to share ideas, lack of accountability and slow decision-making.

Discussion also focused on the Tunisian experience to unify the civilian body and the paramilitary customs force. WCO experts stressed the necessity to keep issues related to blending cultures a top priority when the organization is faced with this kind of merger and then take the right steps to ensure a smooth transition.

The strong commitment to reform and modernization was underlined by the president of The Higher Council of Lebanese Customs during the debriefing session.