National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN)

The National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) is a system developed by the WCO to assist Customs administrations with the collection and storage of law-enforcement information at national level, with the additional capability to exchange this information at regional and international levels. Through the adoption of the nCEN, administrations are able to manage information on all aspects of their law-enforcement functions, including seizures, offences and suspected persons or business entities, within a modern national system that can be standalone or used in a networked environment. The Information Communication Interface (Icomm) included as part of nCEN allows administrations to exchange data with other nCEN users subject to the existence of a legal premise, or to transfer in an automated manner non-personal components of the data to the global CEN database.

The nCEN is a complex tool building Customs administrations’ capacity to conduct effective, risk based and intelligence supported Customs operations. It allows for information gathering on non-compliance and on non-compliant actors as a key foundation for identifying effective action to be taken in key risk areas.  It also improves a country’s analytical capability in terms of targeted controls of shipments, for example through the use of custom analytic rules enabling searches for specific criteria across all data stored in the application.

The number of countries that choose to implement the nCEN continues to grow. The nCEN is currently used in Customs administrations across all six WCO regions, and the Global nCEN Network is growing every year. The WCO has additionally been facilitating the creation of regional structures to promote cooperation among nCEN countries, and Regional Meetings of nCEN Programme Leaders currently take place annually in four WCO regions.

In order to face the challenges of the digital age, Customs administrations must commit to continuous improvement and modernization of their procedures and operational techniques. In a global economy based on automation of information, the nCEN enables Customs administrations to take large steps along the path to good governance, trade facilitation, stricter law enforcement and, ultimately, sustainable development and economic growth.

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