Fundamental step forward in the development of a “Pool of Trainers” and training materials for the Pacific Islands through the WCO/JICA Master Trainer Programme

22 June 2023

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project and with the kind host of the WCO Asia Pacific Regional Training Center (RTC) located in Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS), the fourth Working Group (WG) of the Master Trainer Programme (MTP) on Customs Valuation (CV) and HS Classification (HS) for the Pacific Islands was held at the WCO Asia Pacific Regional Training Center in Suva, Fiji, from 12 to 16 June 2023.

The objective of the MTP is to establish more self-sustainable training capacity in key Customs work areas in the participating regions by developing a pool of well-qualified trainers and training materials/programmes that meet regional needs. To this end, the MTP trains the same nominated participants (WG members) from respective Customs Administrations through 5 WGs and intersessional activities for 2-3 years.

Twenty-two WG members for CV and HS from six WCO Members, namely, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu, participated in the working group activity.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Nausad Ali, Chief Customs Officer of FRCS, Ms. Nancy Oraka, Head of Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) Secretariat, and Ms. Mayumi AMAIKE, Resident Representative of JICA Fiji Office, highlighted the importance of having qualified trainers and tailored training materials on CV and HS through the MTP for the Pacific Islands and encouraged WG members to finalize the development of training materials which started at WG3 in November last year.

WCO experts and Japan Customs experts greatly assisted WG members in developing training materials. In addition, they conducted lectures on substantive matters on CV/HS and training methods.

Besides, the representatives of the Australian Border Force and New Zealand Customs Service explained their capacity building activities for the Pacific Islands, which motivated WG members to be Master Trainers for contributing to regional capacity building activities.

At the end of WG4, WG members revised their work plan towards the final working group activity, WG5, expected to hold in early 2024. Their journey continues intersessionally.

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