WCO CENMaT Meeting concludes with the approval of key forward-looking initiatives

03 February 2023

The 21st Meeting of the Customs Enforcement Network Management Team (CENMaT) of the World Customs Organization (WCO) was held on 26 and 27 January 2023 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. For over 20 years now, the CENMaT Meeting has been a forum for WCO Members and Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) to discuss the strategic direction to be followed for the development of the CEN suite applications, as well as broader concepts of Customs data collection and analysis in the enforcement sphere.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Stefan Kirsch, Deputy Director of Compliance and Enforcement, emphasized the continued need for centralized data collection and sharing within the Customs community to ensure better co-operation and more effective and efficient actions against transnational crime. Consequently, the development of the CEN suite applications has always been and still remains highly relevant for enhancing communication and information sharing between Customs enforcement entities.

The delegates participating in the 21st Meeting reviewed the recommendations by the Task Force on CEN Data Collection and Analysis and discussed the outcomes of the Regional Meetings of the National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) Programme Leaders. The Meeting also marked the launch of several initiatives, such as those relating to CEN Capacity Building and the Global nCEN Impact Assessment. The confirmation of support for the CEN Data Visualization Project was welcomed by the participants, as was the announcement about the launch of the CEN Dashboards.

Turning to other matters, participants endorsed an important initiative to automate non-personal data transfers from nCEN countries to the CEN, thus boosting the quantity of CEN data, in line with the WCO Charter of Data Quantity and Quality Enhancement in the CEN and the recently endorsed WCO Data Strategy. The importance of modernizing the CEN applications and launching the Integrated Customs Enforcement Network (iCEN) application to bring all enforcement tools together in one cutting-edge application was also underlined.

The Meeting concluded with an announcement that the future of the CENMaT would be discussed at the upcoming Policy Commission session in June 2023, as part of the discussion on innovating and optimizing working methods of meetings in line with Members’ expectations and building on the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic.