Virtual working meeting with the Vice-Chair and Customs Directors of the Americas and Caribbean Region

31 August 2020

As part of the activities of the Regional Vice-Chair of the Americas and Caribbean Region, Mr. Werner Ovalle, Director General of Guatemala Customs and Customs Intendant of the Superintendency of Tax Administration of Guatemala, held a virtual meeting on 20 August 2020 with Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO). Directors General and representatives of the region’s Members such as Chile, Colombia, Honduras, Panama, Peru, the United States and Uruguay also participated in the meeting.

During the meeting, the WCO Deputy Secretary General related some of the actions that were being carried out by the WCO Secretariat during the COVID-19 crisis in line with the following three main objectives under the Organization’s Strategic Plan, namely: (i) development of international standards, involving work on electronic commerce, contingency plans in crisis situations and revision of the Basic Guide to the management of high-risk products, among other items to be discussed during the upcoming virtual working sessions; (ii) Customs‑to‑Customs cooperation, involving WCO-led operations with the support of WCO Members; and (iii) capacity building, in pursuing a virtual approach and the required investment, infrastructure and connectivity, together with the need to update the accreditation system for experts, among other aspects, that this process entails.

The Vice-Chair highlighted the work done by the WCO during the COVID-19 crisis and called for an open dialogue among participants, emphasizing the actions carried out in the field of regional integration through the development of initiatives, virtual programmes to promote knowledge and the strengthening of WCO tools, and capacity building delivery to Customs administrations.

The participating Customs Directors exchanged experiences and highlighted the importance of cross-border E-Commerce as a tool to promote the economic recovery of the countries in the region, thus providing an opportunity to share the best practices adopted by the WCO in this field.

Among other strategic actions, monitoring the AEO Mutual Recognition Arrangements, in which 11 Customs administrations of the region participate, also plays an important role in economic recovery, as well as strengthening the coordination and action plans of the Regional Office of Capacity Building (ROCB) and Regional Training Centres (RTCs), ensuring the accreditation of experts from the region, promoting technical cooperation between Customs administrations as well as providing support for the Regional Private Sector Group (RPSG). Participants also agreed to continue promoting the use of the Spanish language in the WCO working bodies.


  • WCO virtual meeting with Vice-Chair of the WCO Americas and Caribbean region, DGs of the region and WCO DSG

    WCO virtual meeting with Vice-Chair of the WCO Americas and Caribbean region, DGs of the region and WCO DSG

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