11 Mar
Meeting with the new WCO Secretary General

During a recent visit to the World Customs Organization (WCO), Professor David Widdowson met with the new WCO Secretary General, Mr Ian Saunders. Professor Widdowson, who was representing the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) at the 15th Session of the WCO Capacity Building Committee, congratulated Mr Saunders on his appointment and discussed the longstanding partnership between the WCO and INCU. 

The cooperative relationship between the two organisations is formally recognised through the WCO Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development (PICARD), which involves:

  • Maintenance of the WCO Professional Standards to ensure their currency
  • Development and accreditation of academic programs that meet the WCO Standards
  • Research to support policy decision making
  • Cooperative management of PICARD Conferences
  • Publication of the World Customs Journal.

Professor Widdowson presented Mr Saunders with a complete set of the World Customs Journal, which represents 17 years of publication. Mr Saunders said that he valued the partnership with INCU and emphasised the importance of strengthening existing relationships in order to enhance the work of the WCO and amplify its impact. 

The INCU is an international not-for-profit organisation of over 200 members and affiliates, which aims to raise the academic standing of the customs profession through the development and promotion of educational programs and by providing academic and applied research to support strategic decision making. Importantly, the Network was also established to provide a conduit between the WCO and academia, and has been working with the WCO in this capacity for the past 20 years.