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2020 WCO TECH-CON closes with lessons learnt for the future

18 noviembre 2020

At the three-day WCO online technology event, successfully launched on 11 November 2020, the WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya welcomed over 1300 registered participants from 142 countries around the world (more on the opening of the TECH-CON is available here).

The 2020 WCO TECH-CON was organized with the objective of maintaining the tradition to have an annual WCO Technology Conference & Exhibition, even in a virtual environment imposed by the COVID-19 disruptions. Despite the prevailing travel restrictions, the TECH-CON, with its two integrated platforms, offered the possibility to host a large number of participants and brought together many prominent high-level speakers: nine heads of international organizations and associations, seven Directors General and three Deputy Heads of Customs.

After a high-level Customs-Business round table on the key challenges and opportunities faced during the crisis, the TECH-CON participants learnt more on the latest technological developments through 19 sessions with 50 speakers from Customs, the private sector, international organizations and academia.

The sessions explored how, under the social distancing requirements, Customs have accelerated the use of non-intrusive inspection equipment, single window services and electronic payment solutions, and what has been the impact in moving forward after the crisis. The speakers discussed the future of technologies such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things in the border management environment and looked into the implications of further tremendous growth of E-Commerce during the pandemic. The last session on building resilience for the future concluded on the relevance of collaboration, interagency cooperation, the importance of data and of changing the mindset towards a truly digital environment. Presentations will soon be available on the event website, and the recordings on the WCO YouTube chanel.

Participants also had an opportunity to contribute with their views and suggestions to polls, the results of which will feed into the next WCO technology event.

The 2020 WCO TECH-CON was possible due to the valuable support provided by the Korea Customs Service and by the event sponsors: Rapiscan - AS&E - S2Global (Corporate Sponsor), Nuctech, CrimsonLogic/GeTS, Microsoft, WebbFontaine, TTEK Inc, IBM and Rigaku.

In his closing address, the Director Procedures and Facilitation, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, thanked all those who contributed to the success of the 2020 WCO TECH-CON and expressed his hope that the next WCO Technology Conference & Exhibition will be held on site, in Bali, Indonesia in November 2021.