WCO Regional Workshop on Accreditation of Mercator Program Advisors in the A/P region
22-26 January 2018, Suva, Fiji
WCO A/P Regional Workshop on the Accreditation of Mercator Program Advisors (MPAs) was held at the WCO Regional Training Center in Suva, Fiji, on 22- 26 January 2018 with funding support of the Korea Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Korea). Mr. Kazunari Igarashi, Head of the ROCB A/P, participated in this Workshop as a facilitator, along with two facilitators from the WCO Secretariat.
MPAs are a specialized Customs Modernization Advisor (CMA) category with the skills and the knowledge to assist the WCO Members with implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) at a strategic level, including provision of advice and guidance on gap analysis, development of strategic roadmap and action plans, and guidance and mentoring towards implementing trade facilitation reforms and modernizing processes.
14 Customs officers from 12 Member administrations in the A/P region, whose professional profiles were assessed and regarded suitable for the Program requirements, participated in this Accreditation Workshop as candidates. 4 representatives from Oceania Customs Organization joined the exercise as part of the WCO’s outreaching initiatives. The candidates from the Member administrations were assessed against the required MPA profile through a series of simulation exercises, presentations, role-plays, group activities and plenary discussions. In addition, given that the MPAs are to represent the WCO for the Mercator Program, they were also required to demonstrate their knowledge and strategic application of core WCO standards, tools and instruments as well as the WTO TFA along with their potential to facilitate discussion with senior Customs officials in a strategic context.
The Candidates who successfully demonstrated and proved their qualifications were considered pre-accredited and, as the second phase of the accreditation process, will be invited to an in-country mission as co-facilitators to further asses their competence to be fully accredited MPAs.