WCO joins Jordan Customs in its capacity as Vice-Chair of the MENA region for ICD 2021 celebrations

28 January 2021

At the invitation of Jordan Customs, in its capacity as the new Vice-Chair for the WCO North of Africa, Near and Middle East (MENA) region, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, participated in the country’s virtual celebration of International Customs Day (ICD) on 26 January.

In his opening remarks, Secretary General Mikuriya praised Customs officers for their efforts, sometimes at the risk of their own lives, in protecting borders as well as ensuring the swift movement of medicines, vaccines and other essential goods along the supply chain during this difficult period. He also congratulated Dr. Abdelmajid Alrahamneh on his election as Vice-Chairperson of the WCO Council for the MENA region. He went on to explain the reasoning behind this year’s theme of “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain”, and what it means for the Customs community.

Recovery can be sustained through greater collaboration between Customs and its stakeholders. This can be achieved by means of enhanced Coordinated Border Management, including the Single Window approach. The Customs community is encouraged to embrace technological advances and innovative approaches, such as blockchain technology or other concepts that may support digitization of Customs processes, so as to ensure Renewal of the Customs system and the way the supply chain is currently set up. It is also important for Customs to focus on Resilience by investing in people and their training, and by reviewing organizational policies to ensure they encompass integrity, gender equality and diversity values. These measures will help improve the preparedness of people for pandemics and other unpredictable situations in the future.

The meeting also saw the online and recorded interventions of Directors General of Customs in the region as well as the participation of business representatives. After wishing everyone a happy ICD, Dr. Mikuriya concluded by affirming his trust in Jordan Customs’ ability to lead the way as regional Vice-Chair.