Suva, 27-29 July 2016
The WCO, in cooperation with the ROCB A/P, Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) and Oceania Customs Organization (OCO), organized the Sub-regional Workshop on Integrity for the Pacific on 27-29 July 2016 at the Regional Training Center Fiji, in Suva, Fiji, under the sponsorship of Japan Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Japan). A total of 23 high-level officials from the WCO Member Customs administrations in the Pacific region and 6 resource speakers, including Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General, and Dato’ Sri Khazali bin Hj Ahmad, Director General of the Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD), participated in this important Sub-regional Workshop. In addition, 11 high-level representatives from the OCO Member administrations, who are not the WCO Member administrations, took part in the Workshop with sponsorship of the OCO. Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, joined the Workshop as a facilitator.
Workshop was opened with the remarks by Mr. Visvanath Das, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the FRCA and Comptroller of Customs, which highlighted ramifications of the integrity to the border security and trade facilitation, as well as the entire Customs reform and modernization process, and underlined the Customs mangers’ engagement to contend with a series of challenges through multi-faceted measures. Workshop was led by the resources persons from the WCO Secretariat and Mauritius Revenue Authority (MRA) and contained practical exercises on the WCO Corruption Risk Mapping, as well as a High-Level Dialogue Session participated by Dr. Mikuriya and Dato’ Sri Khazali.
The High-Level Dialogue Session was opened with a key note address by Dr. Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General. He elaborated that the Customs no longer hesitates to talk about the integrity issues since many years, which has led to the development of the Arusha Declaration. He said that it would be difficult to counter the problems without recognizing the nature and causes of the problems. Several prominent causes of integrity problems, such as high tariff rates and complex Customs procedures. In this respect, Dr. Mikuriya touched upon the importance of the use of ICT and the human resource management, as well as the need for the engagement of the officials both of top management and working levels. He also encouraged overall government approaches. Dato’ Sri Khazali, RMCD Director General, told about his administration’s experiences in contending with the integrity issues through introduction of a set of countermeasures. Participants took advantage of the attendance of the WCO Secretary General and RMCD Director General and had an interactive dialogue.