A “Pool of Trainers” and training materials developed for the Pacific Islands through the WCO/JICA Master Trainer Programme

15 February 2024

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project and with the kind host of Fiji Revenue and Customs Service (FRCS) and cooperation with the Oceana Customs Organization (OCO), the final Working Group (WG5) activity of the Master Trainer Programme (MTP) on Customs Valuation (CV) and HS Classification (HS) for the Pacific Islands was held in Nadi, Fiji, from 29 January to 9 February 2024.

The MTP aims to establish self-sustainable and autonomous 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 five working group (WG) sessions and intersessional activities for 2-3 years.  One hundred and fifty (150) MTs developed by June 2021 in Africa have delivered training to more than 49,000 people in 2018-2023.

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

WG5 was the final WG activity of a series of progressive training activities, and the MTP WG members conducted a training session in a real scenario, and were certified as Master Trainers (MT) once recognized to have sufficient capability.

To this end, the first week was held in collaboration with the OCO. The OCO secretariat invited the participants from OCO Member Customs administrations, and the MTP WG members conducted training sessions for them.

At the opening ceremony, Dr.Erja Askola, Deputy Head of Delegation of the European Union for the Pacific; Mr. Jayvee Santos, Regional Coordinator Pacific for the ASYCUDA Program, United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD); Mr. Satoshi WAKASUGI, Resident Representative of JICA Fiji Office; Ms. Nancy Oraka, Head of OCO Secretariat highlighted the importance of having qualified trainers for the improvement of the capability on CV and HS through the MTP for the Pacific Islands to harmonize and simplify the Customs procedures related to international trade.

During the training sessions, WCO experts, Japan Customs experts, and an external expert greatly assisted WG members in successfully conducting their training sessions.

Following the successful accomplishment of the training sessions for the participants invited by OCO, all 21 MTP WG members were certified as MT.

The members of the MTP will actively conduct capacity-building activities as regional assets.

Following this workshop, the successful MTP WG members attended a WCO pre-accreditation workshop on CV and HS. The workshop was held at the FRCS Training Centre in Nadi, Fiji, from 5 to 9 February 2024. All the participants from the seven WCO Members, namely, Fiji, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu, demonstrated their competencies as expert trainers on CV and HS and were evaluated by experts from the WCO’s Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate and the Capacity Building Directorate. 

The participants who successfully completed the pre-accreditation Workshop will be invited to the next stage of the WCO expert accreditation process, including missions in the field as pre-qualified WCO experts in CV and HS.  Fully accredited experts will be expected to support future WCO capacity-building activities. The workshop was an important achievement for the implementation of the WCO’s capacity-building strategy, as it will increase the pool of experts capable of independently leading training and technical assistance activities on behalf of the WCO.

For more information, please contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.