Regional Office for Capacity Building
for the World Customs Organization Europe Region


Columbus Programme: Aid for Safe Trade

Since 1 January 2006 the WCO has initiated a number of Capacity Building programmes and activities. The most significant is the Columbus Programme, Aid for SAFE trade.

Learning Programme

Global, regional and national imperatives have reinforced the need for responsive Customs organizations. Their human capital is one of their most valuable assets to keep pace with an ever-changing environment.

Integrity Programme

Customs administrations around the world play a key role in trade facilitation, revenue collection, community protection and national security. As such, the lack of integrity in Customs can distort trade and investment opportunities, undermine public trust in government administration and ultimately jeopardise the well being of all citizens. Integrity is a prerequisite for the proper functioning of a Customs administration. 

Leadership and Management Development Programme

WCO delivers Leadership and Management Development Workshop to Namibia Customs and Excise

Cooperation Programmes

The WCO conducts a variety of capacity building projects in the form of cooperation programmes. Here, development organizations or member countries have agreed to finance agreed upon projects.

What is PICARD?

The Partnerships in Customs Academic Research and Development Programme aims to increase the professional knowledge and standing of Customs executives and practitioners; provide a cooperation framework for Customs Education and Research; encourage national adoption of integrated education, training and development scheme by education authorities; initiate new approaches to Customs whole-of-career development strategies.

Fellowship Programme

Fellowship Programme forms part of the Columbus Programme and its initiatives to develop Member administrations’ management capacities.

Scholarship Programme

The WCO established the Japan-WCO Human Resource Development Programme (Scholarship Programme) in 2000, funded by Japan Customs, aimed at improving the human resources of WCO Member Customs administrations.

The Career Development Programme for 2016/2017

The Career Development Programme is a fairly new initiative, having been launched in 2009 by the WCO, in cooperation with Japan Customs. It provides an opportunity for selected candidates, known as Professional Associates (PA), to undertake work at the WCO Secretariat for 10 months.