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WCO receives endorsement to implement projects funded by the European Union

03 octubre 2017

The European Commission has informed the Secretariat of the World Customs Organization (WCO) that the results of the assessment conducted to evaluate whether the WCO fulfils the necessary requirements pertaining to the European Union (EU) Financial Regulation are positive. This means that the WCO can now be entrusted with budget implementation of projects funded by the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO).

This assessment follows contact made by the WCO Secretariat with the European Commission on the question of assisting in the global implementation of an EU-driven project on Trade Facilitation, which is one of the outcomes of the entry into force of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), based on the “Bali Package” stemming from the Ninth WTO Ministerial Conference.

DG DEVCO is favourable to such co-operation. In order to meet the obligations and prerequisites of the European Institutions with regard to EU budget implementation by external partners, a “Pillar Assessment” by an independent external auditor was carried out in order to provide assurance to the European Commission that the WCO fulfils the requirements set out in Article 29.1 of the EU Financial Regulation applicable to the European Development Fund and Article 60.2 of the Financial Regulation applicable to the General Budget of the European Commission. The Assessment was carried out with respect to the following four pillars: Internal Control, Accounting, Independent External Audit, and Procurement.

As the results of the Assessment regarding the above four pillars proved positive, the European Commission can now entrust implementation (including budget) of donor funding tasks to the WCO.

The Secretariat is in contact with the EU Commission in order to advance projects with the aim of receiving funding, inter alia, for implementation of TFA segments of the EU projects for the benefit of WCO Members.

Note: The Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) has a key role to play in the European Commission’s external relations and development policies.  Its main purpose is to implement most of the Commission’s external assistance instruments. This vital task requires DEVCO to deliver the EU’s aid budget in an open and accountable fashion.