The 19th Meeting of the Global Information and Intelligence Strategy Project Group (GIIS)

22 February 2023

On 16 and 17 February 2023, the WCO welcomed delegates – both in person at WCO Headquarters and online via the Zoom platform - to the 19th Meeting of the Global Information and Intelligence Strategy Project Group (GIIS), which was chaired by Ms. Gabrielle Tramby (Australia). The Meeting attracted a record participation of around 160 delegates representing 60 WCO Members worldwide.

Following a first, document-based phase held from 26 January to 9 February, Phase II of the Meeting began with opening remarks by the WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, who said he was pleased that Members were contributing actively to the exchange of practices and experiences, with the result that proposals could now be presented for the revision and extension of the WCO Risk Management Compendium. He also noted that the GIIS Project Group had a long history, going back more than 20 years, and he believed that continuous innovation and future-oriented thinking had become the hallmark of the GIIS Project Group.

The 19th GIIS Meeting focused on three main topics. The first concerned the proposals for the revision and updating of the Risk Management Compendium, which would now be submitted to the 43rd Session of the Enforcement Committee for approval. The work of the drafting sub-groups had proved very successful and had led to important improvements and extensions to the five previously identified risk areas. The second main topic covered the new CEN Data Visualization tool and Electronic Crime - a topic which now falls under the remit of the GIIS Project Group. The Meeting also heard a presentation on Operation Tin Can, an important example of working with the shipping industry on data sharing. Finally, the Meeting explored the need for enhanced information gathering and sharing through Mutual Administrative Assistance, with an overview of current efforts and the way forward. A panel discussion highlighted the importance of MAA, and the Informal Sub-Group which has been working on this topic presented its recommendations regarding future work in this area. These recommendations will be submitted to the Enforcement Committee.

Each of the Agenda items included reports presented by the Secretariat, as well as detailed and technical expert Member presentations enabling delegates to further their understanding of the growing challenges encountered. When the floor was opened for discussion, a number of participants posed questions and made comments, demonstrating the importance of the work being done by the GIIS.

Where administrative matters are concerned, the GIIS Work Programme for financial year 2023-2024 was presented during the Meeting, and the new Terms of Reference (ToR) of the GIIS were introduced. Under the new ToR, the GIIS Project Group becomes a Working Group, i.e. a fully-fledged WCO technical working body.

In her closing remarks, the Chairperson expressed her satisfaction with what had been achieved during the Meeting, and thanked participants for the fruitful discussions held. She also made special mention of the Members that had progressed the Work Programme intersessionally, and said she hoped to see everyone again at the next GIIS Meeting, which would take place in Autumn 2023.