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WCO Knowledge Academy opened its doors this week

21 junio 2017

The 7th edition of the WCO knowledge Academy opened its doors on Monday 19 June 2017 to more than 150 participants for a one-week intensive training targeting Customs and trade professionals, at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. At the end of the week, a field trip is organized, with the support and close collaboration of Belgium Customs at the port of Antwerp.

In his welcoming address, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya insisted on the importance of this event for Customs and Trade professionals as knowledge is key in today’s international trade environment. This yearly opportunity brings together Customs, private sectors and trade specialists and makes the Academy an ideal platform for exchanging views and interacting with counterparts from other countries.

This year’s programme includes two learning tracks, covering key WCO areas of work: the Compliance and Facilitation track that focuses on all aspects of Customs’ work relating to Trade Facilitation, Data Analytics, Stakeholder engagement, E-Commerce, Centralized Compliance, Digital Customs, Data Model and Harmonization, Time Release Study, SAFE & AEO, Counterfeit Medicines, Illicit Trade, Partnership in Wildlife protection and Small Arms and light Weapon (SALW); and the Tariff and Trade Affairs track that focuses on various matters relating to the Harmonized System (HS) for the classification of goods, rules of origin and Customs valuation.

The Academy features more than 30 prominent speakers, trainers and facilitators with different profiles and backgrounds. In addition to leading experts from the WCO, attendees have the opportunity to engage with specialists from WCO Member administrations, international organizations, the IT sector, the broader Customs community, trade organizations and others involved in the global trade arena, who can share their experiences and best practices in their field of expertise.

The one–day field trip to the port of Antwerp is a golden opportunity for participants to visit the impressive facilities of the port of Antwerp and its Customs Museum to experience, from the inside, the functioning of one of Europe’s largest ports, while taking time out to appreciate Customs’ long and rich history which is preserved at the Museum.

The WCO launched its first edition of the Knowledge Academy in 2011 and, over the past six years, the interest in the Academy from the public sector and the private sector companies has grown and the overall comments and observations from the attendees have always been very positive.