MENA Heads of Customs review regional needs and priorities

07 April 2021

Jordan Customs in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the WCO Council for the North of Africa, Near and Middle East (MENA) region, organized a virtual Regional Meeting of Directors General of Customs on 4 April 2021. The meeting was chaired by the Acting Director General of Jordan Customs, Jalal Salem Qudah and brought together representatives from sixteen of the eighteen Members of the region as well as the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB), the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) and the League of Arab States.

WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya described the current WCO’s priorities related to COVID-19, the outcome of the recent Finance Committee and the proposal on how to implement the future WCO priorities and the working methods with Directors General of the MENA region.

During the meeting, the outcome of the December Policy Commission and Council, the use of the Arabic language at the WCO, and its future funding arrangements were discussed.

Directors General shared their experiences on mitigating the effects of COVID-19, reviewed the regional capacity building and information exchange activities facilitated by the ROCB and the RILOs. The meeting approved the decisions to establish a working group to develop the regional strategy, launch a regional electronic journal, and enhance communication between Members and the regional structure. The meeting also discussed alternative sources of funding for the WCO in the future and reviewed the current disposition of the regional Technical Attaché and its future arrangement.

All the participants appreciated the Jordan Customs’ preparation and conduct of the meeting.