Regional Meeting of nCEN Programme Leaders in the Asia/Pacific region

18 January 2021

On 10 December 2020, representatives of all countries using the WCO’s National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN countries) from the Asia/Pacific (A/P) region attended the 2nd Regional Meeting of nCEN Programme Leaders, conducted virtually due to restrictions imposed by the prevailing global health crisis.  This virtual Meeting was organized and chaired by the current regional nCEN Programme Leader, Sri Lanka Customs.  In addition to the A/P region nCEN countries, the Meeting was attended by representatives from the WCO Secretariat and from the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) A/P, invited as an Observer.

In his introductory remarks, the Director of Sri Lanka Customs, Mr. Roy Ranaraja, speaking on behalf of his Director General of Customs, underscored the importance of using nCEN in investigations and risk management.  He encouraged all Customs administrations to discuss their expectations of this system with a view to its continued improvement in the future.

The WCO Secretariat presented an overview of the Global nCEN Programme, the evolution of regional networks and the situation in terms of nCEN usage in the A/P region.  The newly released version of nCEN 3.3.0 was also showcased.  This version includes an important advancement in the automation of the software’s upgrading process, which used to be a major hurdle for many administrations.  The WCO Secretariat further emphasized that the voice of nCEN users had become increasingly relevant to the overall strategic direction of the CEN suite development, before discussing the scope of the work by the nCEN Programme Leaders.

During the Meeting, the nCEN Programme Leaders addressed the challenges faced with the application’s use and the developments in the nCEN application to meet regional enforcement needs.  Sri Lanka Customs presented its best practices for successful nCEN implementation, before opening the floor for a discussion by participants on sharing best practices across the region.

The Meeting concluded with the election of Fiji Customs as the new regional nCEN Programme Leader.  Fiji will assume responsibility for presenting the A/P region’s perspective within the wider Global nCEN.