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Customs administrations in the Asia/Pacific region gather to discuss compliance and enforcement priorities and explore some WCO tools

21 junio 2018

The WCO has organized a regional workshop on its Compliance and Enforcement Package (CEP) for administrations in the Asia/Pacific region.  The CEP was designed to assist Customs in enhancing their compliance and enforcement procedures by following the guidelines laid down in several WCO tools and instruments.

The workshop, which took place from 11 to 15 June 2018, was sponsored by the Customs Cooperation Fund of Japan and graciously hosted by Japan Customs in its Nagoya regional branch.  The event brought together participants from 23 WCO Member Customs administrations (Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Union of Myanmar and Vietnam) as well as representatives from both the Asia/Pacific Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB A/P) and the Asia/Pacific Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO A/P).

The workshop was opened by the Director General of Nagoya Customs, who welcomed participants and reminded them of the critical need for Customs to be equipped with the tools needed to effectively manage risk and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.  He mentioned specific WCO tools related to risk management, inspection and investigation activities and to various enforcement techniques, noting that the workshop was a great opportunity to explore these tools.  The WCO experts stressed that while the main objective of the workshop was indeed to enhance understanding of existing WCO enforcement tools, it was also aimed at enabling officers to leverage these tools more effectively in order to address high-risk areas and emerging threats within the Customs environment.

During the workshop, participants discussed their respective regional and national priorities, including areas considered as high-risk or on which the WCO has recently been working, such as trafficking in cultural goods and illicit financial flows.  Participants were also given the opportunity to share good practices for and experiences of operational planning in a session held with the support of the RILO A/P.

During the discussions, importance was placed on undertaking a holistic review of the enforcement cycle to include the four main components of intelligence, risk analysis, controls and investigations and the need to analyse the links between them.  Tools for compliance management, notably post-clearance audits (PCAs), were presented, with a focus on the role of intelligence and investigations functions, including financial investigations and other anti-money laundering activities.  Aspects relating to interagency cooperation, and especially information sharing with police and other law enforcement counterparts, were also highlighted as a formula for increasing success rates for identification of contraband and seizures, as well as being crucial during investigations.

As an outcome of the workshop, future regional activities were identified together with critical training needs in the compliance and enforcement domains.