WCO contributes to the successful conclusion of the EU funded Eastern Partnership IBM Capacity Building Project

27 November 2018

At the invitation of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), the WCO attended the Final Conference of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) Integrated Border Management (IBM) Capacity Building (CP) Project that was held on 20th November in Warsaw, Poland.  EaP IBM CP was a technical assistance project implemented by Frontex with funding provided by the European Commission.  The project was launched in 2014 with the aim of supporting six EaP beneficiary countries to implement measures that facilitate the movement of persons and goods across borders while maintaining secure borders through enhancement of collaboration at national, cross-border and international levels.  The six beneficiary countries included Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine and project implementation partners included the WCO, the International Organization for Migration, and International Centre for Migration Policy Development.  

The WCO and Frontex signed the Cooperation Agreement in July 2014 which enabled the WCO to provide customs expertise aimed to enhance the development of the six beneficiary countries by assisting their Customs Administrations in their capacity building efforts. In the course of the project, more than 600 customs officials have been trained with strong expert support from the WCO. Topics covered included Harmonized System, Customs Valuation, Rules of Origin, Risk Management, Intellectual Property Rights, Single Window, Customs Laboratory, etc.

In his opening address Mr. Fabrice Leggeri, Executive Director of Frontex, congratulated all project partners and beneficiary countris on the successful conclusion of the Project. He emphasized that the Project was exemplary case of interagency cooperation between authorities in the EU, beneficiary countries and other international organizations which performed as project partners. Mr. Leggeri expressed his strong belief that the Final Conference marked the end of the project but certainly not the end of the cooperation between the project partners and the beneficiaries. 

At the Final Conference, on behalf of the WCO, the Deputy Director of Capacity Building, Ms. Brenda Mundia delivered congratulatory remarks for the successful conclusion of the project and for the strong partnerships with project partners and beneficiary countries.  Ms. Mundia reaffirmed WCO’s willingness and readiness to continue collaboration with Frontex and other EU institutions in the framework of similar initiatives to support customs administrations in their modernization and reform efforts. The presentation was well received by the project partners and beneficiary countries, who acknowledged the WCO’s integral role in the success of the project. The WCO also participated in the panel discussions on the future of the IBM concept.

For more information on this activity, you may contact the WCO at capacity.building@wcoomd.org and for information about the EaP IBM Capacity Building Project, you may consult the website at http://www.eap-ibm-capacitybuilding.eu/en/about/project