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

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Chairman of the State Customs Committee, customs service Colonel-General Safar Mehdiyev and Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Ricardo Treviño Chapa held a virtual meeting on November 25.

Discussions were held on the top priorities of the Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 set to be submitted to WCO Political Commission this December.

It was said that the Strategic Plan envisaged a balanced approach to the areas where the main focus should be on ensuring the sustainability of the WCO. This plan aims at improving the overall approach through regional consultations, while maintaining the substance of the previous plan and continuing the positive aspects identified in the process of its implementation.

It was noted that the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the deep need of societies and organizations for resilience and adaptation. In this regard, the WCO Strategic Plan should set clear roadmaps to make sure that the organization functions purposefully, taking into account current and future opportunities and challenges in the customs sphere. The WCO must be an organization able to adapt sustainably and flexibly to unpredictable events.

During the discussions, chairman of the State Customs Committee Safar Mehdiyev delivered the position of the Azerbaijani Customs Service on the issue and said that the new WCO Strategic Plan should be prepared in the context of the problems, priorities and risks identified in the Environmental Scanning. Moreover, differences between WCO regions should be taken into account while developing a strategic plan. Safar Mehdiyev stressed that the future modernization of the organization is directly connected with the elimination of certain risks, drew attention to the management issues inside WCO, ensuring sustainable financial sources, strengthening cooperation with other international organizations, as well as enhancing activity of WCO regional structures, especially Europe's Regional Office for Capacity Building.

Views were expressed and proposals made on the plan during the meeting.

It should be noted that the organization is holding relevant consultations in all regions on the development of the WCO Strategic Plan for 2022-2025, and the position of the Azerbaijani Customs Service as a member of the WCO Political Commission is of special importance.

Analysis of digital customs and data; e-commerce; exchange of information; customs on guard of climate and environment; "One-stop shop" and coordinated border management; improvement of internal management; revised Kyoto Convention; harmonic system and other proposals were put forward in the opinions of member states, including Azerbaijan regarding the priorities of the Strategic Plan.

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