TER for top executives of SUNAT creates positive outlook for the future

19 November 2019

As part of Capacity Building, the WCO organized a Leadership and Management Top Executive Retreat (TER) for the National Superintendence of Customs and Tax Administration (SUNAT) in Peru from 7 to 10 November 2019.  The overall objective of the four-day interactive retreat was to strengthen its executives’ management capacity to lead and drive SUNAT’s vision, values and strategy and to do so as a team.  The TER was held just after the start of the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP) in Peru and was the first organizational development activity of this project that is funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The GTFP aims at providing the Customs Administration of Peru with technical assistance and required organizational capacities and resources to increase compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

The heads of SUNAT Ms. Claudia Suarez,  Mr. Rafael Garcia from Customs, and Mr. Enrique Vera Castillo of the Tax Administration and seven other executives of SUNAT, came together for a long weekend at ‘La Hacienda’ in Chincha, which is in a remote location away from Lima.  In an intense, hardworking and bonding atmosphere, a multitude of topics connected to SUNAT’s situation and challenges were reviewed and openly discussed.  Among them were the ‘how to’ achieve a modern, simple and just SUNAT service, the development of others, cooperation between tax and customs divisions, a management culture based on trust, the challenges of internal and external communications, the involvement of other stakeholders, as well as how to work on all these topics as a team.

Dialogues on the situation and challenges of SUNAT were alternated with the presentation of relevant models and theories on modern leadership and management, including the ‘diamond of leadership’ based on knowing yourself – managing yourself – really understanding others – and having a positive influence on others.  The discussion on the importance of how to manage more strategically, based on clear role responsibilities, was very revealing.  The full agenda also included practical management skills, attitude, behaviour, as well as on developing interpersonal communication skills and team building.  

SUNAT’s executive managers described the impact of the retreat with words such as ‘new perspectives’, ‘energetic’, ‘optimism’, ‘growth’, ‘challenged’, ‘openness and trust’, ‘committed’, ‘passion’ and other words that indicated a combination of gratification, belief in the future and earnest motivation.  In the next few years, the TER will be followed by one or more LMD Workshops, other LMD follow-up support, along with technical and organizational support. 

For more information on the WCO Leadership and Management Development Programme, please contact Capacity.Building@wcoomd.org.