Ricardo Treviño Chapa

Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization

Ricardo Trevino Chapa is an experienced strategist and manager with over 20 years of professional career. Being a customs and trade expert driven by results, continuous improvement and cooperation. A strong advocate for efficiency, transparency, innovation and intensive use of technology.

The importance of Customs and WCO

Trade remains an important driver for global GDP growth and customs are in a unique position to facilitate the flow of legal goods.

Customs is relevant for governments objectives on revenue collection and economic growth, but it is also key for business in allowing them to reach foreign markets in a secure, compliant and predictable way.

Customs is also fundamental for society as a whole, as it is considered the first line of defence against any potential threats it may face related to illegal cross-border commercial operations and illegal flow of dangerous, restricted or hazardous products. 

As the role of Customs evolve and its relevance grows, a strategic vision and strong leadership to assist them in the process is needed. WCO’s Strategic Plan reflects this matter through its current strategic objectives and focus areas.


Partnerships for sustainable results

Customs are going through a deep digital transformation. This requires international, regional and national engagement with many parties involved in trade. Building trust and strengthening transparency is key to succeed in this transformation.

As Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Trevino Chapa continuously fosters cooperation among customs, other border agencies and strategic stakeholders such as private sector and academia. Through this cooperation it is possible to devise ways for more information sharing which will enable success in the trade facilitation, the protection of society, and the fair revenue collection objectives.


Adjusting to new realities

Through the definition and effective implementation of the Modernization Plan, which considers an in depth organizational transformation for the WCO, the Organization will be better placed to deliver the services and products that its Members are expecting.

In parallel, by leading the process to define the new strategic plan for the period 2025-2028, Ricardo Trevino Chapa, will contribute to making of WCO a more agile, relevant and impactful organization.

Work on core customs matters such as classification, valuation, origin, authorized economic operator, risk management, among others, is part of the activities planned. Targeted efforts and further expertise to be developed in potential focus areas such as the use of technologies in customs, data collection and analysis, data sharing, protection of the environment (Green Customs) and e- commerce are to be included in the Organizational strategy for the coming years.

Leadership and Innovation

Efficient, data- driven processes.

Trade facilitation, protection of society and a fair revenue collections is achievable through efficient customs procedures based on the use of new technologies and adequate data management. By promoting the digitization of customs procedures, customs can collect data in an effective way.

The use of tools and technologies based on Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, non- intrusive scanning and drones will enable a trade environment that can bring the prosperity that society and governments are seeking.

Technology and Data

Making Impact

If something is not measured, it cannot be improved; therefore, a pragmatic approach with clear targets and in which decisions are evidence- based, is the best way to secure positive results.

Mr. Trevino Chapa has led the team to develop the first evidence- based tool to assess customs performance (Performance Measurement Mechanism). By promoting its use and disseminating its implementation, customs and WCO are better positioned to take decisions on investments, capacity building, training and needs for legal changes.


About Ricardo

With a public sector career spanning over 20 years. Since January 2018, after being elected for the first time (he was re-elected in 2022 for a second term) by the WCO Council, Ricardo Treviño Chapa has held the post of Deputy Secretary General. During this time he has driven an important change in the Organization through the definition and implementation of the Strategic Plans 2019-2022 and 2022-2025.
In his role as Deputy Secretary General he follows up on the correct implementation of the WCO Strategic Plan by overseeing and coordinating efforts made by the Organization’s Directorates, particularly regarding actions to ensure implementation of the following focus areas: Innovation and Technology, Green Customs and WCO Modernization.

While overseeing the cross cutting implementation of the Strategic Plan, Mr. Treviño Chapa has led the WCO efforts in developing the Performance Measurement Mechanism (PMM) which is an evidence- based tool to asses customs performance. The PMM considers different indicators to assess how customs administrations perform on each of the four custom strategic objectives: Revenue collection, trade facilitation, protection of society and organizational development. Its implementation, adoption and dissemination by Customs Administrations is in course.

He also led the recent process to define a Modernization Plan, which is an ambitious process to reform WCO governance and accountability to adapt to current global realities and emerging Customs needs and that was endorsed by the WCO Council in June 2024.
Currently, besides contributing to the implementation of the Modernization Plan, Mr Treviño Chapa is leading the process to renew the Organizational Strategic Plan for the period 2025- 2028.

His work at the WCO

In 2018, Ricardo Treviño assumed the post of Deputy Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization. Since then, he has driven an important change in the Organization through implementation of the Strategic Plan 2019-2022 which, for the first time, took into consideration input from the WCO’s 183 Members.

Bulding on this achievement, he has enhanced inclusiveness through regional consultations to develop a comprehensive and global Environmental Scan and the definition of the new Strategic Plan 2022-2025. The new strategy follows an innovative approach by considering customs core business as the overarching priority and by identifying three focus areas: 1) technology, data and digitalization 2) Green Customs and 3) WCO Governance and accountability

Accelerating WCO’s modernization


Customs administrations around the world face significant 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 of economic development. On the other hand, the global impact of transnational crime, including terrorism, has risen to unprecedented levels and has evolved in its shapes, therefore pressing to respond effectively by securing the global supply chain and protecting the society.

Customs role in facilitating legal trade and as first line of defence has been highlighted by the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic, stressing the need to modernize customs regulations and standards, digitalize procedures and move towards a more effective risk management based institutions.

The WCO has a vital role to play by driving global efforts to address current and new challenges for Customs. 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 the WCO’s potential, and I have the experience, knowledge and determination to bring a perspective from someone who has led a Customs Administration and has now gathered knowledge and experience from within the Organization to make a significant contribution to that purpose.

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