WCO and Guatemala strengthen coordination

04 September 2019

On 2 September 2019, Guatemala’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Jairo Estrada, and the Superintendent of Guatemala’s Fiscal Agency, Mr. Abel Cruz, visited WCO Headquarters in Brussels.

The Delegation was welcomed by WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviño Chapa and this visit offered an opportunity to discuss Customs modernization projects in Central America, as well as ways of strengthening collaboration.

Mr. Cruz indicated that Guatemalan Customs had embarked on important modernization projects aimed at enhancing trade facilitation and border security, and expressed his appreciation for the WCO’s ongoing support and engagement in assisting Guatemala with implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Ambassador Estrada followed up by stating that in order to strengthen joint efforts by the WCO and Guatemala, his Government had decided to appoint a permanent Brussels-based Attaché to the WCO. After assessing its current progress with Customs modernization and best practices, Guatemala had decided to take this step forward in order to enjoy a closer relationship with the WCO, contribute on a continuous basis to all its working bodies, and also assist other WCO Members from the same region.

The Deputy Secretary General welcomed this positive news, pointing out that a strong network of Brussels-based Attachés was highly beneficial to the WCO’s work. He invited the new Guatemalan Attaché to liaise closely with other colleagues in order to foster Customs to Customs cooperation and further develop international standards.

Deputy Secretary General Treviño Chapa reaffirmed the WCO’s support for effective implementation of WCO tools and the TFA, in line with the promotion of inclusive regional growth as set out in the Comprehensive Development Plan for El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico proposed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.