At the Conference of Heads of Customs Services of the European Region, held in Bergen (Norway), in May 2009, the Chair of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Aidyn Aliyev, proposed the creation of the European Regional Office for Capacity Building, based in Baku. The meeting supported the initiative.
In June 2009, above decision was endorsed by the Council of the World Customs Organization (WCO).
In pursuance of this decision on 11 November 2009 the World Customs Organization and the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which became the legal basis for placement of the Regional Office for Capacity Building for Europe Region in Baku.
To prepare basic documents defining the organizational structure and activities of the Regional Office, at the initiative of Europe’s Vice-Chair (CA of Luxembourg) a Think-Tank group was formed of delegates of the European Customs Services, represented in the WCO governing bodies. During the meeting in Moscow in January 2011, the Think-Tank Group drafted a Concept of the Regional Office and a Capacity Building Strategy of the European Region.
Both of these documents were adopted by the Conference of Heads of Customs Services of the European region, held in April 2011 in Baku.
The Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for the World Customs Organization (WCO) Europe Region has been officially opened in Baku, Azerbaijan, October 17, 2011 with a ceremony attended by the WCO Secretary General Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Chair of the WCO Council Mrs. Josephine Feehily, senior officials of the Government and the Customs Administration of Republic of Azerbaijan.
ROCB Europe is the 6th and final ROCB that also comprises WCO’s largest region with its 51 member states and the European Union.
The regional capacity building aims at modernizing Customs Services by taking into consideration global directions, standards, Customs in the 21st century policy document by the WCO, WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE), Revised Kyoto Convention, WCO Capacity Building Compendium and such.
Regional capacity building provides the fact that the regional needs are taken into account and that it is aimed at supporting Member states to better fulfill their core functions as Customs administrations.
The Europe Regional Office for Capacity Building works up at:
- supporting the implementation of sustainable standards that provide safe, secure and smooth trading at a global level;
- improving the coordination among members in the region in order to make better use of available human and financial resources;
- fostering a consistent and stable approach for risk management;
- strengthening cooperation between customs administrations to improve their capability in customs enforcement;
- enhancing the system for collection of customs taxes and duties;
- following and keeping up with global trends and developments that affect customs;
- supporting Members in the development of their integrity programs;
- helping customs administrations to their capacity building project funds.
Last but not least, one of the activities we carry out in ROCB Europe is that we rent the following premises of our Office for the purpose of various conferences, seminars, trainings, business meetings:
- Fully equipped conference hall;
- Computer laboratory for 20;
- 2 classrooms with boards for 30 people each;
- Cafeteria and kitchen;
- Parking lot.
World Customs Organization, customs services of foreign countries as well as the State Customs Committee and other government services of the Republic of Azerbaijan have the right to use the premises of our Office at no charge.