WCO publishes its 2020 Annual Report

27 August 2020

During the summer the WCO published its 2020 Annual Report, summarizing the main activities undertaken during financial year 2019-2020, the main developments within the WCO and its regional structures, and the future challenges to be addressed by the WCO Secretariat and its Members.

The Report begins with the traditional Forewords from the Council Chairperson and the Secretary General, and then presents the main highlights of financial year 2019-2020 through a timeline of events. Particular focus is placed, naturally, on the WCO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, with a dedicated page offering an overview of the numerous specific actions taken by the Organization to assist Members with their national responses to the pandemic, in terms of both the facilitation of legitimate trade and the protection of society.

In this context the Environmental Scan - which aims to provide Customs administrations and external stakeholders with an overview of the main global trends affecting trade during a given year and their potential impact on Customs’ roles, policies and practices - is focused exclusively on COVID-19 this year. Covering the main impacts of the crisis for countries, people and businesses, the Environmental Scan reflects on the need for the world, and its Customs administrations, to be better prepared to respond to potential future global crises. As a WCO document, the Scan identifies challenges and opportunities that would require appropriate Customs’ responses, both now and in the future.

The Annual Report also provides general information about the WCO, its structures, its management and its main decision-making bodies. The last part of the Report is a compilation of data received from WCO Members which allows for the establishment of country profiles in terms of staff, WCO instruments implemented, progress made with the automation of procedures, and the main statistics on trade flows during financial year 2019/2020.