AMS region showcases innovative projects using latest technologies

02 December 2021

The third in the round of regional online experience-sharing workshops on disruptive technologies was held in the Americas and Caribbean (AMS) region on 25 and 26 November 2021. The objective of this round of regional workshops is to further raise awareness of the possibilities these technologies offer in facilitating and better controlling the cross-border movement of goods. The webinar was supported by the Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF) of Korea and coordination support was provided by the office of the regional Vice-Chair.

The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Ricardo Treviño, Chapa opened the webinar stressing that we have, during the COVID-19 pandemic, witnessed the introduction or enhanced use of disruptive technologies, which require even more efforts from us to keep this momentum going.

In his capacity as Vice-Chair of the AMS region, the Director General of Guatemalan Customs Werner Ovalle Ramírez in his opening remarks announced the translation and publication of the Spanish version of the WCO Study Report on Disruptive Technologies, which will be of benefit for the region and beyond. The Study Report in Spanish can be accessed here.

The webinar brought together almost 70 participants from 20 regional Members and enabled experience-sharing on the implementation of three groups of technologies, in particular: blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT); Internet of Things (IoT); and data analytics, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The AMS region showed significant innovation in this domain, as well as enthusiasm in implementing forward-looking projects using disruptive technologies.

Representatives from 13 Members, the private sector, development partners and international organizations shared insightful presentations about the projects they are involved in and passionate about, as well as about the importance of international standards, including the WCO Data Model. The many valuable lessons learnt will contribute greatly to the update of the WCO Study Report on Disruptive Technologies, which will be carried out jointly with the World Trade Organization.

At the initiative of the AMS Vice-Chair, a CLiKC! group was established for the purpose of sharing experiences on the use of technologies within the region. In his closing remarks, the WCO Director Compliance and Facilitation, Pranab Kumar Das, applauded the initiative and committed that the Secretariat will be following up on and learning more about the experiences shared in this forum.

The next regional online experience-sharing workshop on disruptive technologies will be held with the East and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central African (WCA) regions from 17 to 19 January 2022.