Esta página no está disponible en el idioma seleccionado Spanish : Español y la proponemos por consiguiente en English : English.

Successful conclusion of the 21st Session of the WCO Integrity Sub-Committee

18 febrero 2022

The 21st Session of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Integrity Sub-Committee (ISC) was held on 10 and 11 February 2022. The Session was held at WCO Headquarters in Brussels in a hybrid format, enabling delegates who could not travel to participate remotely via an online platform.

Over 200 delegates representing WCO Member Customs administrations, development partners, academia, observers and other stakeholders took part in the first day of the Session. The second day was reserved for participants from WCO Member administrations. The 21st Session of the ISC was chaired by Mr. Marcellin Djeuwo, Director of Information Technology in the Cameroon Customs Administration.

The WCO Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa, welcomed delegates to the Session and stressed that integrity in Customs was important for fostering global trade. In his opening remarks, Mr. Treviño Chapa underscored the fact that a lack of integrity undermined the work of Customs, weakened the international supply chain and created adverse consequences for societies. As a result, it was crucial to address such problems on a permanent basis, including through promoting integrity. He acknowledged that integrity challenges could be met more effectively when there was a strong sense of collaboration not only between Customs administrations but also with other stakeholders.

Mr. John Bescec, Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce Global Customs and Trade Facilitation Commission, was invited to participate as a special guest and delivered a keynote address on “Maintaining commitments to Customs integrity in the supply chain during the Covid-19 pandemic”. One of the points noted by Mr. Bescec was that the pandemic had caused massive disruption to the international supply chain, creating Customs delays leading, in turn, to increased risks of corruption. He highlighted three priority areas to maintain the integrity of the international supply chain: trust, digitalization, and the need to improve the harmonization and ensure consistent implementation of standards and guidelines.

Taking a collaborative approach to strengthening integrity in Customs was one of the key Agenda items discussed during the first day of the ISC Session. In this connection, the WCO Secretariat gave participants a general overview of the Organization’s work in terms of collaboration by emphasizing the WCO’s instruments and tools supporting the adoption of a collaborative approach to advance the work of the Organization, including in the area of integrity.

In addition to the WCO Secretariat’s presentation on the Organization’s collaborative approach, two different approaches in this domain were presented. The first was shared by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the second by two WCO Members. The UNODC outlined some of important ways of promoting integrity across government institutions such as Customs. On their part, the two WCO Members summarized the efforts by their respective Customs administrations, in collaboration with other stakeholders, to promote integrity in Customs.

During the second day of the Session, the ISC discussed other high-profile and sensitive topics, namely preventive vigilance to curb corruption in Customs through internal controls; data-driven measurement of integrity in Customs; a proposal to enhance the WCO Guide to Corruption Risk Mapping; and the future Work Plan for the ISC due to be approved in the course of 2023.