WCA National Contact Points for Capacity Building assess progress and plan for future

06 noviembre 2017

The 8th Regional Meeting of National Contact Points for Capacity Building of the Customs Administrations of the West and Central Africa (WCA) Region was held from 25 to 27 October 2017 in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. The aims of this meeting were to evaluate capacity building activities since the last meeting; to plan for future Customs reform and modernization in the region; and to discuss the forthcoming Regional Strategic Plan for 2018-2022.

The meeting saw the participation of fifteen (15) Customs administrations, the Regional Vice-Chair, the WCO Secretariat, the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) and the Regional Training Centres (RTCs) in Brazzaville and Ouagadougou.

The opening ceremony was chaired by the Chief of Staff to the Finance and Budget Minister of the Republic of the Congo, in the presence of the Director General of Congolese Customs.

The main item on the Agenda was the discussions on the forthcoming Regional Strategic Plan for 2018-2022, which resulted in the participants adopting the outline of a plan to be finalized at a later date and presented at the next meeting of Directors General of Customs. The WCO Secretariat’s contribution focused on the major global challenges facing Customs and its strategy for the 21st Century, while the Vice-Chair highlighted the challenges encountered at regional level.

Participants also put forward several recommendations to the Vice-Chair, the WCO Secretariat, the ROCB, the Customs administrations of Members of the WCA region and the National Contact Points. Among those can be mentioned the following: to develop a regional pool of experts; to develop a strategy for involving Director Generals in Customs modernization issues; to extend the WACAM project to the entire region; to share experiences and good practices on the termination of pre-shipment inspection and the take-over of out-sourced functions by Customs; and, finally, to share experiences and good practices in the area of migration of classical Customs administrations to merged Customs-Tax structures.