WCO/Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Joint Project

In January 2015, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC), which was followed by the launch of the "WCO/JICA Joint Project” whose main objective at that time was to enhance their support for Customs administrations in 5 countries in East Africa. Thanks to the tangible success in East Africa, the Joint Project expanded its cooperation to mainly 16 countries in East, Southern, and West Africa in 2018, leading to further extending its cooperation to 6 countries in the Pacific in July 2021 and new programmes to the 16 beneficiaries’ countries in Africa. The flagship programme of the WCO/JICA Joint Project is the Master Trainer Programme (MTP), which is to cooperate with Customs administrations to establish more sustainable training capacity on key Customs topics through the development of a pool of well-experienced trainers, tailor-made training materials, and training program/course syllabus.

To this end, the MTP trains same participants through 5 working groups and intersectional activities for 2-3 years. Under this programme, a pool of approximately 150 Master Trainers (MTs) on HS Classification, Customs Valuation, Post Clearance Audit and Risk Management/Intelligence Analysis. have been developed in 16 countries in East, West, and Southern Africa so far and they have delivered training for more than 23,000 people of Customs administrations, other government agencies and the private sector not only in their countries but also of other countries in 2018-2021. It should be noted that a number of those MTs are also accredited as WCO Accredited Experts (ACE) and are supporting other countries, particularly in Africa with their accumulated expertise and knowledge.  Hence, MTs are common asset not only for participating Customs administrations but also for their regions and for the entire Customs community.

With these activities and wide recognition of the MTP among WCO Members, the MTP on Rules of Origin has started in July 2021 in 16 African WCO Members in East, West, and Southern Africa, namely Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo to smoothly and effectively implement the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with a possibility to further expansion in the coverage of it. In addition, the MTP is expanded to cover 6 Pacific Islands WCO Members, namely Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Timor-Leste, Tonga and Vanuatu, in the field of HS classification and Customs Valuation in July 2021, which also contributes to implementing the WCO Small Island Economies (SIEs) initiative.

The TOR of WCO/JICA Joint Project team, established in the WCO, consists of the implementation of MTP; the implementation of other activities; and the support for JICA projects, which shows the vast range of cooperation of the project team.

For more information, please contact capacity.building@wcoomd.org.