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

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With the recent developments caused by the Covid-19 and the need for customs community to stay together and share updated information, the ROCB Europe organized a Virtual Intersessional Meeting of the WCO Europe Region National Contact Points for Capacity Building under the theme of “Situation Update and the Road Ahead” that was held on 2 June 2020.

25 Member Administrations, WCO Secretariat, the Vice-Chair of the WCO Europe Region as well as the ROCB Europe were represented in the meeting. The WCO Secretariat delegation was headed by the Director of the WCO Capacity Building Directorate, Mr. Taeil Kang. The Vice-Chair of the WCO Europe Region was headed by  Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Igbal Babayev. 

During the virtual meeting, the participants were informed about how the WCO intends to move forward with regard to capacity building delivery modality. The participants were also briefed about the WCO instruments aiming for Customs administrations to continue facilitating trade to help minimize the overall impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on economies and societies. Information was shared about updates related with the Working Group on the Revision of the Bergen Agreement as well.

At the same time, the activities carried out by the ROCB Europe especially on new initiatives, brand-new Coronavirus Bulletin and important documents and articles that describe the measures for Customs Administrations in the face of COVID-19 pandemic provided by other international organizations presented.

The meeting served as a platform for enhancing the communication among the WCO Secretariat, ROCB Europe and participating member administrations. The participants especially underlined the importance of online trainings and use of enhanced e-training platforms on customs.

The Contact Points mentioned their administrations' initatives on tackling the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic in the virtual meeting. Questions by the participants on a variety of issues related to regional aspects or capacity building domain were answered by the corresponding directors during the meeting.

The arranged virtual meeting was the first-ever online session of the WCO Europe Region contact points.

The minutes of the meeting will be soon uploaded to the Meeting Documents segment of the ROCB Europe web site members section.