6-10 March 2023, Kashiwa, Japan
The WCO Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on Data Management and Analysis against Illicit Trade was held from 6 to 10 March 2023 in Kashiwa, Japan, under the sponsorship of the Japan Customs Cooperation Fund (CCF/Japan). The Workshop was organized with generous support from the Japan Customs and Customs Training Institute of Japan (CTI). A total of 22 participants representing 21 Customs administrations in the AP region attended the Workshop and discussed topics related to data management and analysis as well as Customs Enforcement Network (CEN). Together with the WCO Accredited Customs Experts (ACEs) and the resource persons from RILO A/P, Ms. Yuko Mamiya, Program Manager, and Ms. Jate-arpa Benjaphong, Program Coordinator of the ROCB A/P also attended the workshop as facilitators/coordinators.
The Workshop kicked off with the opening address of Mr. Keiji Shibata, Deputy Director-General, Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance. He welcomed the participants and expressed appreciation to the WCO and ROCB A/P for their efforts to organize this workshop. Mr. Shibata emphasized that it is necessary to respond to risks by properly collecting and analyzing information in order to adequately fulfill the Customs’ role with limited manpower. He demonstrated the Japan Customs’ commitment to supporting the WCO capacity building activities through CCF/Japan.
Ms. Mamiya also delivered the opening remarks. In her remarks, she highlighted the importance of the utilization of CEN for data collection and analysis for better data-driven decision-making. She concluded her remarks by wishing this workshop will serve as the place for networking between WCO, ROCB, RILO and AP Members.
During the Workshop, the participants actively shared their experiences and challenges in data management and analysis. Furthermore, the participants discussed how to utilize the CEN and how to enhance regional and global cooperation. Ms. Mamiya updated the ROCB A/P’s recent activities and capacity building in the AP region. She also encouraged the participants to learn a lot from each other and utilize the lessons learnt for further development and modernization of the home administrations. Ms. Benjaphong introduced the follow-up action survey conducted by the ROCB A/P six months after the respective WCO regional/sub-regional workshop. She underlined that the workshop participants’ follow-up actions are a key enabler for sustainable organizational development.
Mr. Yoshihiro Kosaka, Managing Director of the CTI, appreciated the participants’ active contribution to discussions during the workshop in his closing remarks. He highlighted that regional cooperation in close collaboration with RILO A/P is one of the key enablers to further promote data collection and analysis. He also announced that the RILO A/P office will be relocated to Tokyo Japan in January 2024 and Japan Customs will make the utmost contribution to the region as the new host for the RILO office by carrying on its legacy.
The Workshop was successfully concluded with the participants’ active contribution. The participants expressed their appreciation to the WCO, the ROCB A/P, the RILO A/P, the WCO ACEs, the Japan Customs and the CTI for their contribution to the workshop.
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