The 9th Annual WCO PICARD Conference was held from 17 to 19 September 2014 in Puebla, Mexico.
The Conference, hosted by the Tecnológico de Monterrey at Puebla in coordination with the General Customs Administration of Mexico, was attended by some 180 participants from over 35 countries representing WCO members, academia, international organisations, the private sector and other interested parties.
In his opening remarks the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, expressed his appreciation to the Tecnológico de Monterrey at Puebla and to the Customs General Administration of Mexico for their outstanding efforts in organizing and hosting the Conference. He looked forward to the input by practitioners and academics and to the exchange of ideas and experience which would be taken into account in the WCO’s policy discussions. In this context, he encouraged participants to invest in even more research in support of Customs’ decision-making processes.
A high-level panel session on trade facilitation was convened with Secretary General Mikuriya, a representative of Mexico’s Undersecretary of Foreign Trade, and other leaders from academia and the private sector. Dr. Mikuriya noted that with its global standard-setting activities enhancing Customs’ ability to cooperate with other border agencies, international organizations and the private sector, the WCO was in a good position to effectively contribute to trade facilitation reforms.
Research papers presented at the PICARD Conference focused on three themes: trade facilitation; e-commerce; and Customs’ role in securing supply chains and preventing illegal trade.
The conference was attended by CCES Senior Lecturer, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky, in his capacity of Head of the Secretariat of the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU). Dr Kashubsky updated the delegates on the recent activities of the INCU particularly the Inaugural INCU Global Conference “Trade Facilitation Post-Bali: Putting Policy into Practice” that was held in May 2014 in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan and hosted by Azerbaijan Customs. He also discussed the role of the INCU in international trade facilitation and reviewed the provisions of the INCU Baku Resolution adopted at the conference. Dr Kashubsky expressed his gratitude on behalf of the INCU to the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Professor Aydin Aliyev for hosting such as magnificent conference and for the exceptional hospitality of Azerbaijani people.
A Youth Forum immediately after the Conference brought together students from various universities to discuss topics raised during the Conference as well as future career possibilities in Customs and in the international arena.