11th Meeting of the Regional Structures of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Europe Region was held on 12-15 October 2021. The meeting, organized by the Regional Office for Capacity Building for the World Customs Organization Europe Region (ROCB Europe), was hosted by Regional Training Center (RTC) in Bishkek of the State Customs Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic with support of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek. The event was attended by WCO Secretariat, Regional Training Centers of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Ukraine and ROCB Europe.
The meeting has a special importance as it was the first psychical meeting after a long break due to Covid-19 which paved the for mostly virtual events.
The participants were informed an overview of the ongoing work of the WCO Secretariat, especially virtual reality (VR) technologies and the BACUDA project with noting that the aim of the BACUDA project is to develop various data analysis methodologies, including algorithms in open-source programming languages, in cooperation with customs officers and researchers.
During the presentation on the activities and initiatives of the ROCB Europe, participants was briefed on recent activities of the Office as well as initatives taken in terms of institutional development, improve coordination between regional structures and stakeholders in the region to make better use of available human resources and implement customs activities.
Representatives of regional training centers, through presentations, gave detailed information about their activities and current situation. The participants also evaluated the activities of RTCs and exchanged views on the challenges they face and opportunities to be captured along with opinions and suggestions on how to move forward on further development of the RTCs as well as on the possible ways for planning in order to enhance the functionality and monitoring the performances in a structured manner.
The participants took a decision to develop a joint action plan for the upcoming year which reflects the planned activities by the RTCs in coordination with the ROCB Europe.