WCO Cargo Targeting System

The WCO Cargo Targeting System (WCO CTS) is a risk assessment and targeting solution for cargo manifests developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) for Customs administrations around the globe. It enables those adopting this solution to implement international best practice in the area of cargo risk assessment, including the key pillars of the WCO’s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade. The WCO CTS has already been successfully implemented by many Customs administrations in countries that vary greatly in terms of their size, level of economic development and cargo volumes.

WCO CTS solution

The WCO CTS solution entails the delivery of software to users. The WCO provides everything required to implement and sustain effective cargo targeting capability, including the key components of software, hardware, data assistance, training and mentoring, and support and maintenance.

The WCO CTS software was developed and is owned by the WCO and is available to WCO Members without purchase or licence fees. It delivers purpose-built cargo risk assessment and targeting capability in the maritime container and air cargo domains, incorporating the latest international standards and best practice. The relevant and user-friendly software takes account of Customs’ operating environment and the needs of Customs officers when performing their daily tasks.

The WCO CTS solution is standardized and offers the same functionalities to every country where it is rolled out. Functionalities include:

  • Gathering and storing of electronic cargo manifest, bill of lading and air waybill data.
  • An interface allowing Customs users to search and analyse manifests by applying risk profiles and watch lists.
  • Automating risk profiles, enabling them to be applied to all new manifests imported into the WCO CTS in real time. Designated users are alerted to matching consignments.
  • Creating, maintaining and storing watch lists within the application.
  • Managing access to functionalities and data through user roles and permissions.
  • Workflow structure.
  • Management oversight and reporting.


  • Low cost, low-overhead, sustainable risk assessment and targeting solution –cost-free software, free updates and upgrades, at-cost rollout package, and low ongoing operating costs.
  • Risk assessment capability based on best practice – the WCO CTS has been developed using Customs and shipping/airline industry best practice and expertise.
  • User-friendly – the WCO CTS is simple and easy to use by a broad range of users with varying information technology (IT) and risk assessment capabilites.
  • Ready access to manifest data – the WCO CTS provides immediate access to electronic manifest/bill of lading/air waybill data from container shipping lines, airlines, Non-Vessel-Operating Common Carriers (NVOCCs) and freight forwarders for imports, transhipment, transit and exports.
  • Systematic, effective and timely risk assessment – the WCO CTS applies consistent risk criteria to all cargo consignment records and provides users with instant results. For inbound cargo, the WCO CTS can alert Customs administrations to high-risk consignments before the vessel arrives.
  • Trade facilitation - systematic and timely risk assessment offers a basis for the facilitation of cargo not deemed to be high-risk.
  • Efficient allocation of resources – enables operational resources, i.e. personnel, scanners and other tools,to be prioritized towards shipments posing the greatest risk.
  • Target monitoring – the status of high-risk shipments can be monitored throughout the inspection cycle.
  • Workflow management – risk assessment activities and inspection outcomes are captured by the WCO CTS.
  • Management oversight – the WCO CTS logs all user activity within the system and offers reporting capability on this activity.


For more information about the WCO CTS, please send an e-mail to cargotargetingsystem@wcoomd.org.