Fifth WCO Technology and Innovation Forum is underway

27 October 2015

Press Release

27 October 2015

Around 700 participants from Customs administrations, law enforcement agencies, government ministries and the private sector gathered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands today, to attend the 5th WCO Technology and Innovation Forum, with the theme “Pushing Boundaries, Changing Horizons.” This flagship WCO event was organized this year in cooperation with the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, with the slogan “Pushing Boundaries, Changing Horizons”.

Forum Participants will spend the next three days discussing the use of innovative technology solutions designed to support the safety and security of global supply chains whilst facilitating trade. Discussions will also focus on Customs enforcement, emerging challenges, and the productive use of detection and surveillance technologies, as well as the possibilities offered by open source data.

The Forum will also provide a unique opportunity for information-sharing and cooperation between the public and private sectors with regard to emerging technologies and innovations used by Customs administrations and other border agencies. Over 70 companies are showcasing their products and services to participants in the Forum’s Exhibition Hall.

In his opening speech, Mr. Eric Wiebes, State Secretary of Finance in the Netherlands, stated that “we need companies to conform to our trading rules and regulations not only to enable us to levy due taxes, but also to ensure a fair and safe international trade environment."

The General Director of Customs of the Netherlands, Ms. Aly van Berckel-Van de Langemheen, stressed that “as the Dutch Customs Administration, we are of the conviction that we must pool our strengths with others if we want to accomplish our high ambitions. Our strategy is to work together: together with enforcement agencies that are also responsible for border management; with trade and industry; and with the scientific community.”

“This Forum will deepen our awareness and understanding of innovative technologies that can successfully support the achievement of Customs’ objectives,” said WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.  He added that, “I am also pleased that for the first time the Forum will have a Research Track, organized by a consortium of leading science and technology universities from several countries. As investment in research and development is a building block for innovation, being able to confer directly with scientists will greatly benefit participants.”

Secretary General Mikuriya also thanked the Customs Administration of the Netherlands for organizing and hosting this year’s Forum, noting that as a pioneer of innovative technology solutions which have revolutionized the transport and logistics sector, the Netherlands was an ideal place to hold this event.

In addition, the WCO Secretary General thanked the sponsors and exhibitors for their active participation, and emphasized that the Forum was another successful manifestation of the dynamic partnership between Customs and business.

Presentations and outcomes of the 5th WCO Technology and Innovation Forum will be posted on the Events Section of the WCO website soon.

More Information