Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 

The WCO Secretariat has a long working relationship with the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Secretariat for the implementation of CITES, based on the MOU signed by both Organizations in 1996.

EU Authorities

The WCO Secretariat established cooperation with the relevant bodies of the European Commission, such as the Directorate General on Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (DG Justice) and OLAF, in order to increase efforts for combating all kinds of fraud which Customs encounters.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) was set up in 1993 and is an EU agency providing information at the European level concerning drugs, drug addiction and the consequences. An MOU between the WCO and EMCDDA was signed on 12 January 2007, with the aim of enhancing international drug control efforts.

Since the signature of a Co-operation Agreement in 2002, the WCO and Europol have established and maintained close co-operation in combating serious international organized crime, such as cooperation among the WCO, OLAF (European Anti-Fraud Office) and Europol in counteracting the illicit manufacture of cigarettes. An MOU between the WCO and Europol was signed in 2002.

Financial Action Task Force (FATF) 

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body established in 1989 by the Ministers of its Member jurisdictions. The objectives of the FATF are to set standards and promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The WCO Secretariat maintains close cooperation with the FATF and FATF-Style Regional Bodies, such as Asia and Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) and Intergovernmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in Africa (GIABA), to devise and promote international best practices in countering money laundering for Customs.


The WCO Secretariat and the INTERPOL have been working together very closely on a wide range of issues, in particular in combating cross-border criminal activities, such as drugs, IPR, trafficking of stolen cultural artifacts, cigarettes, small arms and light weapons, and environmental crime. The two Secretariats signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2003. The two Secretariats signed an MOU in 2003.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 

Working relations between WCO and IAEA in devising tactics and strategies to combat illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials, as well as facilitation of the exchange of information, resulted in the establishment of Memorandum of understanding in May 1998. It provides a framework for promoting co-operation at a national level between national customs administrations and regulatory bodies responsible for the control of nuclear and radioactive material. An MOU between the WCO and IAEA was signed on 13 May 1998.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

The WCO, in co-operation with the ICAO and IATA, has been working on the revision of the WCO/IATA/ICAO Guidelines on Advance Passenger Information (API). The WCO also co-operates with ICAO in the areas of simplifying Customs procedures vis-à-vis air passengers and cargo. The WCO also actively contributes to ICAO’s work on maintaining and revising Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation-Facilitation. This annex covers many Customs procedures. An MOU between the WCO and ICAO was signed on 24 June 2011.

International Council of Museums (ICOM) 

In order to combat the illicit traffic in cultural property, the WCO and ICOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding that allows both the organizations to jointly draft and implement, each in its own field of competence, measures to improve cooperation and information exchange. It is envisioned that Customs authorities and ICOM member authorities engage in these activities with a view to making the fraud analyses and profiles prepared for Customs services more effective. The MOU between the WCO and ICOM was signed on 1 January 2000.

International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) in Vienna, Austria, monitors the implementation of the United Nations drug control conventions. Under the auspices of INCB, two projects namely ‘Project Cohesion’ and ‘Project PRISM’ have been launched. They are aimed at assisting governments in the fight against the illicit trafficking/diversion of precursor chemicals and synthetic drugs. The WCO is a continuing member of the project’s Task Forces. An MOU between the WCO and INCB was signed on 12 April 2012.

Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is an intergovernmental organization, located in The Hague, Netherlands. The organization promotes and verifies the adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention which prohibits of the use of chemical weapons and requires their destruction. The verification consists both of evaluation of declarations by members states and on-site inspections.

Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

As a result of cooperation between the WCO and OSCE, the OSCE Council, held in Vienna, Austria in July 2005, has drawn up a Decision in support of Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Program). The OSCE Council agreed to encourage their members, which are also Members of the WCO, to sign the Letter of Intent to implement SAFE standards. The OSCE have also offered to assist on capacity building initiatives related to the same programme.

WCO secretariat maintains close cooperation with the SECI Center since the meetings for establishment of the Center to combat trans-border crime. WCO supported this regional initiative to promote combating customs frauds and improving cooperation among the participating countries. An MOU between the WCO and SECI was signed on 25 March 2005.
United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee (UNCTC)  

The Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council is charged with assessing country compliance with binding Security Council Resolution 1373. This Resolution requires all U.N. Members to take steps to enhance border security. The WCO has participated on multi-disciplinary teams on various country visits since 2005.

With a view to combating illicit traffic in cultural property, the WCO and UNESCO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to determine and implement each within its own field of competence, ways and means of enhancing co-operation. The MoU foresees exchange of information between customs authorities and the competent authorities recognized by UNESCO for the protection of cultural heritage and enhancement of the effectiveness of fraud investigations and fraud profiles drawn up by inspection services. An MOU between the WCO and UNESCO was signed on 26 October 2000.

The WCO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a MOU in 2003. Since 2001, the WCO has been a very active Partner to the Green Customs Initiative (GCI), which is a series of collaborative activities by partner organizations, coordinated by the UNEP and aimed at raising the awareness of Customs officers to trade-related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs). The two organizations work closely to combat the illegal trade in Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS), the Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO) also support initiatives of UNEP’s regional offices.

The partnership between the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed in November 1996. UNODC and WCO have successfully been working together on a number of international activities. The most recent common project is the so-called ‘UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme. An MOU was signed on 18 March 2010.

WCO Regional Dog Training Centres 

The Customs Control Committee -Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan- and the Customs Administration of the Czech Republic signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the WCO each, for the establishment of WCO Regional Dog Training Centres. The modern training premises can now be found in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, and HeĊ™manice, Czech Republic.

World Health Organization (WHO) 

The WCO and the World Health Organization (WHO) work together on a diverse range of issues which have an impact on the health and safety of society. Areas such as public health emergencies of international concern, illicit trade in tobacco (through the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control) as well as spurious/falsely-labelled/falsified/counterfeit (SFFC) medicines are in the forefront of cooperation between both organizations. An MOU between the WCO and WHO was signed in July 2002.

The World Intellectual Property Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Geneva, Switzerland, whose aim is to develop a balanced and accessible international intellectual property system. The WCO and WIPO closely co-operate in promoting the effective use and protection of IP worldwide.