Renovated approach to the World Customs Organization

Dear colleagues, Customs Administrations around the world face signicant challenges: on the one hand, there is an increasing demand for facilitating trade to address new business requirements, and to further support international trade as a key driver for economic development. On the other hand, the global impact of transnational crime, including terrorism, has risen to unprecedented levels, therefore pressing to respond effectively by securing the global supply chain and protecting the society.

The WCO has a vital role to play by driving global efforts to address current and new challenges. It must effectively help its Members to opportunely adapt to rapidly changing environments and to acquire the capacity to take global responsibility in facing new challenges, according to their own reality, conditions and needs.

A “business as usual” model is not an option for an Organization that strives to face constantly evolving challenges. An ambitious, pragmatic, and innovative approach is necessary to unlock WCO’s potential, and I have the experience, knowledge and determination to bring a perspective from someone who has led a Customs Administration to make a signicant contribution to that purpose.

I come from Mexico, a nation where international trade is the main economic driver, accounting for 65% of GDP. Mexico is a developing country which territory represents a mosaic of different realities and challenges, where the government’s primary goal is to allow the largest number of Mexicans, in all sectors and regions, to reach progress and development.

“An ambitious, pragmatic, and innovative approach is necessary to unlock WCO’s potential”

Mexican Customs play a crucial role in this task: firstly, it contributes signicantly in support of socio-economic programmes by collecting revenue. Under my administration, the Mexican Customs have increased its collection, reaching 28% of total revenue and 70% of VAT. Secondly, through its 49 Customs ofces, promote international trade by ensuring a secure and swift movement of goods and people by providing modern, transparent and efcient services, working on a 24/7 basis to support around 17 million operations per year and over 1 million border crossings daily. Thirdly, by leading the front-line border management and enforcement activities; by undertaking the responsibility of managing the Foreign Trade Single Window where 10 government agencies and 2 regulatory bodies concur; and by being a key provider of data and intelligence for risk management.

Lastly, Customs also have a fundamental role by enhancing international cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels, to address major global goals, including facilitating trade, protecting the economy and countering transnational crime and terrorism.

Since I have the honour to lead these efforts, I have been able to learn that Customs must be integrity focused, remarkably resilient, visionary and cooperative; conscious of the different realities and needs, as well as globally responsible.