17th Session of the Integrity Sub-Committee highlights the critical role of Security in the Integrity agenda

The 17th session of the WCO Integrity Sub-committee was held on 1 and 2 March 2018 with the theme “SECURITY AND INTEGRITY: Curbing Threats, Leveraging Opportunities”. Approximately 150 delegates representing Member administrations and stakeholder organizations took part in the 17th session of the Integrity Sub-committee (ISC). 

In his welcome address, the Deputy Secretary General Mr. R. Trevino Chapa stressed the role of integrity and its financial including security repercussions in the supply chain for traders.  He also emphasized the need for continuous discussion of integrity issues in all spheres of customs. He outlined several steps to address this problem in customs administrations and cited some examples of Mexico’s anti-corruption strategy.  

The ISC benefited from two keynote addresses. The first was delivered by Mr. Tim Steele of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on the main threats and strategic decisions for customs with regard to organized crime. He cited two main drivers for corruption: the number of rules and regulations that need to be applied and the multiplicity of border operations which increases the likelihood of criminals finding ways to circumvent the system. Mr. Steele stressed the use of risk management in the fight against corruption and informed that UNODC is preparing a Guide on Corruption risk management at an organizational level.

Mr. Patrick Moulette, Head of Anti-Corruption Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), delivered the second keynote address on the threat that corruption poses to peace and security worldwide.  He outlined the OECD’s work to set international standards on combatting corruption, in particular via the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, which has 43 signatories to date. 

The ISC then welcomed and/or endorsed a number of documents/initiatives, including:

  • Information security & data management to address integrity
  • Integrity testing as a preventive measure
  • Fighting international bribery and illicit financial flows 
  • New Private sector initiatives to prevent bribery when interacting with Customs
  • TFA implementation as a new impetus for Integrity development
  • Best practices on Internal Controls and relationship with external controls

This session of the ISC was chaired by Ms. Sigfríður Gunnlaugsdóttir (Iceland). This marked her last time as Chair of the ISC. The Director of Capacity Building expressed the WCO’s sincere appreciation for the dedication and hard work of the outgoing Chair.  The ISC then elected Mr. Carlos Enriquez Montes of the Mexican Customs Administration (Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT)) as Chair and Mr. Hendra Prazmono of Indonesian Customs as Vice-Chair. The next 18th session of the ISC is tentatively scheduled to take place in April 2019.