Successful WCO Mercator Programme Advisors accreditation workshop

17 November 2015

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, United States, 2 – 6 November 2015

The second WCO accreditation workshop for Mercator Programme Advisors (MPAs) was held at the US CBP Advanced Training Centre in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, United States, from 2 to 6 November 2015. It was financially supported by USAID, and eleven Customs officers from Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United States participated in it.

MPAs are Customs Modernization Advisors (CMAs) with the capacity to accompany, guide and mentor organizations towards implementing trade facilitation reforms and modernization processes, including implementing the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). MPAs, once accredited will be invited to carry out TF/TFA-related missions and related support under the WCO Mercator Programme. They will also be invited to support Members in establishing their National Committees on Trade Facilitation.

MPA accreditation workshops are part of the WCO's strategic approach to obtain a wider access to Capacity Building experts and to ensure their qualified and standardized level of support to Members. The WCO accreditation process is a 2-step approach. The first step being the successful participation in an accreditation workshop, followed as step 2 by being "tested" in conducting one (or more, if needed) in-field mission(s) as co-facilitator.

The workshop participants in Harpers Ferry were assessed against the required CMA/MPA profiles through a series of testing exercises, presentations, role-plays, group activities and plenary discussions. Participants were also required to demonstrate their knowledge and strategic application of core WCO tools and instruments and the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement along with their potential to facilitate discussions with senior Customs officials in a strategic context.  

Eight participants were assessed as being promising candidates to progress to a second-step in-country mission and will be invited to participate in strategic planning or TFA implementation support missions under the WCO Mercator Programme.