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Risk Management and Intelligence Programme

Changes in the strategic landscape of Customs’ operating environment, together with the long-term growth in trade and travel volumes, have affected the way Customs administrations are managed and approach their tasks. These developments, together with the increasing uncertainty, have led many administrations to seek a more structured and systematic way to manage risks.

Risk management has been one of the key vehicles for Customs administrations to better meet the demands of the 21st Century operating environment, which requires Customs administrations to address risks wherever they are found and, increasingly, as early in the supply chain as possible. The development and implementation of an intelligence-enhanced risk management framework, along with embedding a risk management culture within a Customs administration, have enabled more effective decision-making at all levels of the organization and in relation to all areas of risk. Today, risk management is considered to be one of the guiding principles associated with modern Customs administration.

In view of an increasing need to define a common approach that enables Customs administrations across the globe to both identify and treat potential risks, the WCO developed the Customs Risk Management Compendium. This Compendium describes procedures and practices to be applied systematically by Customs in order to collect the information needed to address organizational and operational risks. The methodology outlined in the Compendium establishes a common framework, but at the same time it remains sufficiently flexible to meet the unique conditions of individual WCO Members.

Considering the importance of information exchange, the WCO has taken several steps to enhance the flow of information and the dissemination of intelligence among its Member Customs administrations. One of them is the creation of the global network of Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) with their various tasks contributing to the strengthening of global Customs cooperation. Another is the establishment of the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) suite of applications. In addition to the RILOs, in order to support the risk management and intelligence activities of the Members, the WCO Council has adopted mutual administrative assistance instruments that help Members to exchange information among them.

Furthermore, the Technology Network (TeN), is the only& communication platform for Customs and other border agencies, technology companies, international organizations and relevant stakeholders to exchange experiences and information on technologies related to border management. TeN also includes a range of products related to risk management and intelligence systems.

  • Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices

    The exchange of intelligence at national, regional and international levels is a critical mechanism employed by Customs authorities to create conditions for more efficient enforcement actions and controls and to secure the optimum use of available resources. At the strategic level the WCO has incorporated the aim of intelligence exchange among all stakeholders, recognising the contribution this objective has in furthering the protection of society, public health and safety. Therefore, in 1987, the first Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) was established with the intent of creating a Global Intelligence Network. Today the RILO network has grown to 12 offices providing effective coverage throughout all six WCO regions.

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