WCO re-enforces its trade facilitation support to The Philippines under the Mercator Programme

30 October 2020

On 21 October 2020, the WCO and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) of the Republic of The Philippines had the pleasure of holding an Executive-Level Kick-Off meeting to mark their forward collaboration of the WCO’s Mercator Programme as a multi-year and strategic approach to implementing the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA). The meeting was preceded by Bureau of Customs Commissioner, Mr. Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, and WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño.

At this milestone occasion the WCO reaffirmed its commitment to assist the BOC in implementing its Mercator Plan under the framework of the Trade Facilitation in Middle Income Countries (TFMICs) Programme, as supported by the Prosperity Fund of the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

During the meeting the BOC outlined the progress already made, applying several of the recommendations part of the August 2019 Mercator Plan. In the upcoming weeks the WCO will step up its capacity building assistance in a number of key areas – focusing on both technical areas (e.g. Time Release Study, Risk Management and Air Cargo streamlining building on the WCO Immediate Release Guidelines), as well as cross-cutting organizational development enablers (e.g. gender equality and diversity and competency based human resource management). Considering the current Covid-19 constraints, the support will initially be delivered on a remote virtual basis. In its engagement on TFA technical support, the WCO will work closely together with the World Bank Group – as its main partner under the TFMIC’s.

The WCO looks forward to delivering these activities as part of a continued collaboration with the BOC as made possible by TFMICs under the auspices of the Mercator Programme.

For further information, please contact the Capacity Building Directorate, capacity.building@wcoomd.org