The WCO and the PSCG exchange their views on the future strategy

21 January 2021

On 19 January 2021, the Secretariat had an exchange of views with Members from the Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) regarding the next Environmental Scan that will shape the basis of the Strategic Plan 2022-2025.

The meeting was opened by the WCO Secretary General, Mr Kunio Mikuriya, who praised the PSCG for its valuable support since the beginning of the pandemic. Mentioning the work to be done on the next Environmental Scan, he considered that PSCG’s contribution was essential to support the WCO in preparing the future of Customs in the best possible way, in partnership with businesses.

The session on the Environmental Scan was jointly chaired by Mr Ricardo Treviño, WCO Deputy Secretary General, and Mr John Mein, Chair of the PSCG. The Deputy Secretary General provided general information on the desired way to go regarding the overall WCO Strategy, consisting in strengthening the links between the Environmental Scan and the Strategic Plan. He then launched discussions following the six dimensions of the PESTLE methodology (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental aspects), asking the private sector to share their views on what could be the role of Customs in the future and how the WCO could position itself to allow for better adaptation in the years to come.

The PSCG expressed its appreciation for being involved in such an exercise. They particularly insisted on the need to reinforce the cooperation between Customs and legal trade for more efficiency in facilitating the movement of legitimate goods and more results in the fight against illicit products. They also considered that the use of technology, towards a full dematerialization of procedures, and the need to enhance the expertise in data management were crucial to ensure the sustainability of Customs. At last, they pointed that the uneven implementation of WCO Conventions and instruments should strongly be addressed with proper mechanisms in order to guarantee more harmonization and standardization throughout the world.

Closing the session, Mr John Mein reiterated the will of the PSCG to pursue exchanges with the Secretariat on the WCO strategy and to contribute to its developments. The Deputy Secretary General appreciated the commitment of the PSCG and stated that the entire exercise had recently started and that the PSCG would be involved in the next steps.

The consultation on the next Environmental Scan is moving forward. Following the four Regional Workshops already conducted with MENA, ESA, A/P and WCA, and the workshop with the PSCG, the topic will be discussed during the January Management Day and with EUR and AMS Regions in February to conclude the first round of consultations.