Regional consultations on the Strategic Plan continue with the AMS region

01 October 2021

On 28 and 29 September 2021, the third regional consultation on the next Strategic Plan was conducted with the South America, North America, Central America and the Caribbean (AMS) region. The session was jointly chaired by the Vice-Chair for the AMS region, Mr. Werner Ovalle Ramírez from the Guatemala Customs Administration, and the WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa. Approximately 50 participants attended the session, which was held virtually.

In his introductory remarks, the Vice-Chair for the AMS region was of the view that the consultative cycle launched by the Secretariat was an excellent opportunity for Members to provide their input and contributions on matters of strategic importance for the future, such as the definition of WCO priorities and responses to be given to the red risks flagged in the Audit Plan. He stated that the handling of these matters, through regional contributions and by involving the Policy Commission and Council, was proof of the smooth functioning of the WCO. The WCO Deputy Secretary General agreed that the definition of the strategy required a high-level commitment, both by the Secretariat and Members, to work together in shaping the future direction of the Organization.

Participants raised a number of constructive matters that should be considered as priorities within the next Strategic Plan. They underscored the need to focus on Coordinated Border Management through the development of an appropriate framework to enhance and facilitate real-time information sharing between Customs. The question of data use was repeatedly mentioned, with participants calling for the development of greater data analytics capacity in order to modernize procedures and be fully equipped to address risks. The tailoring of Customs skills to face new challenges and opportunities in an efficient manner was another focal point, in which it was stressed that specific projects and programmes should be launched to respond to new realities. In this connection, experts should be properly trained and systematic follow-up should be carried out to ensure that capacity building support delivered the expected results on the ground. To that end, participants felt that the WCO should make use of its Performance Measurement Mechanism to assess the impact of its activities on Members’ daily practices.

These consultations will define the new WCO Strategic Plan, following the same approach as for the previous strategy and Environmental Scan. Full involvement by Members has already proven invaluable when drafting these documents, ensuring that the entire Organization shares a single vision and is moving towards achieving the same objectives.