WCO holds a Stakeholder Engagement Workshop to enhance the skills of Belize’s National Committee on Trade Facilitation

24 November 2017

From 6 to 10 November 2017, the WCO held a Workshop on Stakeholder Engagement at the Customs and Excise Conference Centre in Belize City, Belize.  The purpose of the Workshop was to enhance the skills of members and stakeholders of Belize’s National Committee on Trade Facilitation (NCTF) in the area of effective stakeholder engagement before, during and after consultations to coordinate implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).  The Workshop was attended by representatives of Customs, the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce, other border agencies and the private sector.   

Belize’s Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Mr. Colin Griffith, expressed his gratitude to the WCO for organizing the Workshop and added that this was the first such event hosted by Customs and Excise with full participation by other government agencies and the private sector.  He also thanked the Government of Sweden for financially supporting the event.  In her opening address Mrs. Estella Leslie, Deputy Comptroller of Customs and Excise, said that the NCTF had been established on 23 February 2017, one day after the TFA had entered into force.  She went on to explain that the NCTF, which was co-chaired by Customs and the Directorate General for Foreign Trade, had already held two meetings with stakeholders.

This Stakeholder Engagement Workshop was an interactive event comprising several activities, exercises and role plays on how to manage an effective consultation process while ensuring a structured approach to engagement with internal and external stakeholders.  The participants exchanged good practices during the Workshop and expressed their appreciation to the WCO facilitators for leading this event. It is important to note that the NCTFs are a critical forum to engage in constructive strategic objective development for the implementation of the TFA.

The training was co-facilitated by Ms. Hermie George, Technical Attaché, WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate, and Mr. David Dolan, Director of International Organizations and Agreements, US Customs and Border Protection.  This event also provided an opportunity for Mr. Dolan to obtain full accreditation as a WCO Mercator Programme Advisor.