The 8th edition of the WCO knowledge Academy got underway on Monday 2 July 2018 at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, with over 180 participants taking part in a one-week intensive training course targeting Customs and trade professionals. There will also be a field trip to the port of Rotterdam
at the end of the week, organized with the support and close collaboration of Netherlands Customs.
In his welcoming address, WCO Deputy Secretary General Ricardo Treviňo Chapa emphasized the need for Customs and trade professionals to keep up-to-date with the work of the WCO and Customs trends in general, especially in the wake of the ever-changing international trade environment. He added that the WCO, as a technical organization, has a duty to share the wealth of knowledge it amasses from different sources and to create a platform where Customs, the private sector and trade specialists can come together to exchange views and interact with their counterparts from other countries.
This year’s programme includes two learning tracks, both comprising simultaneous interpretation in English and French and covering key WCO areas of work: the Compliance and Facilitation track that focuses on all aspects of Customs’ work relating to E-Commerce, WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, Single Window, SAFE Framework of Standards, Future of Customs, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW), Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR), Drug Trafficking, Post-Clearance Audit, Trends and Patterns in the Illicit Trade of Excisable Goods, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, Capacity Building, Legal Basis for Customs Cooperation, and Insecurity and Cross Border Trade: Potential Uses of Modelling for Customs Intelligence; and the Tariff and Trade Affairs track that focuses on various matters relating to the Harmonized System (HS) for the Classification of Goods, Rules of Origin and Customs Valuation.
The Academy features around 40 prominent speakers, trainers and facilitators with different profiles and backgrounds. In addition to leading experts from the WCO, attendees have the opportunity to engage with specialists from WCO Member administrations, international organizations, the IT sector, the broader Customs community, trade organizations and other parties involved in the global trade arena, who can share their experiences and best practices in their own field of expertise.
The one-day field trip to the port of Rotterdam is an opportunity for participants to visit Europe’s largest bunkering and sea port as well as the Customs Museum. The port of Rotterdam owes its position to its outstanding accessibility for sea-going vessels and its intermodal connections, with 180,000 people working in the port and the industrial area.
The WCO launched the first edition of the Knowledge Academy in 2011 and, over the past seven years, interest in the Academy from the public sector and from private sector companies has grown, with overall feedback from attendees always having been very positive.