Director General


Graduated in Law and Political Science from the University of Panama, obtained a Master's Degree in International Legal Affairs (LL.M.) from the American University (Washington College of Law).

Mrs. Tayra I. Barsallo, has studies on United States Immigration Law at the American University (Washington College of Law), Project Management at the University of Louisville / Project Management Institute, Panama City, and International Relations at the University of Panama.

She has participated in courses such as International Migration Law Course at the International Institute of Humanitarian Law / IOM, San Remo, Italy; Central American Regional Course "Civil-Military Response to Terrorism" in El Salvador; course "Legal Aspects of Combating Terrorism" at the Institute for International Defense Legal Studies in Newport, Rhode Island, United States.

She held the position of Deputy Director-General of the National Migration Service (September 2007 - June 2009) in which she was in charge of the drafting, dissemination, discussion, and implementation of the New Immigration Legislation (Decree-Law 3 of 2008) and the Development of the Institution's International Projects; Legal Advisor to the Vice Minister of Government and Justice, April 2006 - September 2007 and Legal Advisor to the Minister of Government and Justice, 2004 - April 2006.

She has practiced for more than 19 years as a trial attorney and consultant on migration, security, and business entrepreneurship.

She has taught at the University of Santander, the subject of International Agreements and Treaties and, she has also been a professor at the Latin American University of Foreign Trade, teaching the subject of Economic Integration, introduction to Foreign Trade, and Negotiation of Treaties and Agreements.

She belongs to several organizations such as the National Union of Lawyers, National Bar Association, United States Bar Association (American Bar Association), National Union of Panamanian Women, Panama Korea Friends Association, and Panamanian International Trade Association.

H.E. Ahmad Abdullah Bin Lahej Alfalasi
Director General of Federal Customs Authority, United Arab Emirates (UAE)

His Excellency / Ahmed Abdullah Bin Lahej Al Falasi is the Director General of Federal Customs Authority. He has extensive experience in customs work. He began work in this field since 1993, during which he held many leadership positions including the executive director of the customs affairs sector in the Federal Customs Authority, the director of the administration of the centers of Jebel Ali as well as the director of customs air centers, and the director of passenger operations department at Dubai airports.

Bin Lahej has won many awards. He has been nominated twice for Dubai Governmental Excellence Program as the best governmental employee. Bin Lahej has been awarded for Dubai Governmental Excellence Program for the best creative idea, whereas, he was the leader of the team. He had a main role in Dubai customs team whom has been awarded as the best local governmental entity in 2015. In 2016, Bin Lahej has been awarded for being best Executive director supporting creativity in the bronze category of USA Ideas Award.

His Excellency holds a Master degree in Business Administration from the Canadian University - Dubai - and his Excellency graduated from the Mohammed bin Rashid program for leadership development.

Mr. Pranab Kumar Das
Director, Compliance and Facilitation

Mr. Pranab Kumar Das has assumed charge as the Director, Compliance and Facilitation Directorate of the World Customs Organization in January 2020.

Mr. Das comes with a rich experience of over 36 years in customs and indirect tax administration having worked in various positions in the frontline offices and specialized directorates of Customs and Indirect Taxes in India and finally as the Chairman of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) under the Government of India. As Chairman he was entrusted with the task of administration of Customs, Goods & Services Tax and Central Excise Duty and led a team of over 85,000 officers and staff spread across the country.

Mr. Das has also served as Special Director, Directorate of Enforcement, India’s nodal agency for Prevention of Money Laundering.

Mr. Das is deeply committed to modernization of customs, leveraging the rapidly evolving internet technologies. His deep commitment to customs reforms has seen India’s World Bank Ranking under the pillar of “trading across borders” improve from 146 in 2017 to 68 in 2019 and overall EODB rankings from 100 in 2017 to 63 in 2019.

Mr. Das has also been instrumental for the smooth implementation of one of the largest tax reforms in India - Goods and Services Tax, thorough various initiatives including legislative changes, change management as well as training the staff and tax payers.

He has represented India in various international meetings of WCO, Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (2004-2009), Indo-US Homeland Security Dialogue, International Protocol on Tobacco Control, WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) and has served as an expert from South East Asia Region (SEAR) in the panel of Experts to tackle the Illicit Trade in tobacco. He was a “Resource Person” on WTO Customs Valuation.

Apart from the initiatives taken for India, Mr. Das has tirelessly supported initiatives for easing the traffic in transit of India’s land-linked neighbours which has led to significant reduction in dwell time and cost. He has spearheaded major trade facilitation and customs modernization initiatives in India such as the Single Window, AEO program, MRAs with key trade partners, paperless processes, strengthening Customs laboratories and off-border clearances through land borders by leveraging track and trace technology.

Mr. Das holds a Master’s degree in economics and a degree in law apart from a masters in philosophy on, “GST and its role on economic security”. He is also the recipient of the President of India’s Award for ‘Specially Distinguished Record of Service’.

Mr. Jean-Michel GRAVE
Head of Unit E5 (ROO etc.)

Having started his carrier in the French Customs Administration, Jean-Michel GRAVE joined in 1989 the Directorate General of the European Commission responsible for Taxation and Customs Union. He dealt successively with legal issues, the reform of the transit procedures and the future of preferential origin.

He took in charge in 2006 the unit responsible for general customs legislation, covering in particular the modernisation of the customs legislation of the EU into a Union Customs Code, adopted in 2013 and applied since 1 May 2016.

He is since end 2014 the head of an international unit in DG TAXUD (E5), being in charge of trade facilitation, preferential and non-preferential rules of origin and international coordination of customs and tax matters. Its geographical portfolio covers the Americas, Africa, Far East and South Asia, and Oceania. The unit is also dealing with development-related matters, which include the coordination of customs and tax matters with the African-Caribbean-Pacific Regions and the Overseas Countries and Territories. GSP rules of origin and customs valuation are also part of the portfolio.

Since 2001, Mr Grave is teaching customs and excise matters at the "Université Libre de Bruxelles", in the context of an Advanced Master in Tax Law. He is also a member of the Editorial Board for the Global Trade and Customs Journal.

Mr. Stefano Inama
Chief, Technical Cooperation and Enhanced Integrated Framework Section

Mr Stefano Inama is a Chief, Technical Assistance, Trade and Customs in the Division on African and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), UNCTAD Geneva, Switzerland

Mr. Inama possess over 30 years of experience on trade and customs issues matured advising Governments and private sector. He has designed and managed research and trade-related capacity building programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, with a focus on trade laws and policy, regulatory and institutional trade issues with a specialization on rules of origin and market access. He has written extensively on these subjects as well as on related industrial policy questions.

He is the author of one of the most comprehensive analytical books on rules of origin (Rules of origin in International Trade, Cambridge University Press, 2009,forthcoming edition 2021) and has co-authored ASEAN rules of origin :a way forward and The foundations of the ASEAN Economic Community ,Cambridge University Press 2015.

Mr. Inama has been representing UNCTAD during the negotiations in the Technical Committee on Rules of Origin (TCRO) established at the World Customs Organizations and most recently at the Working group on the revision of annex K of the Kyoto convention.

His work of advise and technical assistance to the WTO LDC group during WTO negotiations on Duty Free and Quota Free (DFQF) and rules of origin has been instrumental to the adoption of the Bali and Nairobi WTO Ministerial Decisions on preferential rules of origin for LDCs.

Mr. Inama provides advise to Governments on negotiations on rules of origin in FTAs negotiation such as the EU-South Africa FTAs ,EU-Philippines the ASEAN –China FTA and the lately the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) and to regional organizations such as ASEAN ,COMESA,SADC, ACP and AU.

Most recently Mr. Inama has launched with Prof Bernard Hoekman an annual round table meeting of experts and a platform on rules of origin at the European University institute in Florence,Italy. Such initiative is designed to provide a forum to discuss groundbreaking initiatives and emerging issue on rules of origin and their administration.

Mr Inama is also providing practical advice to private companies to comply with rules of origin regulations and administrative procedures and in such capacity has been participating to annual events organized by Deloitte and other consulting firms

Mr Inama holds Masters and LLM degrees from the University of Bologna and College of Europe, Bruges, Belgium. He is member of the faculty of the ASEAN integration through at Center of International Law of Singapore and has been Visiting Lecturer at the Columbia University, the World Trade Institute, Master in International Law and Economics, M.I.L.E. and at IELPO International Economic law and Policy.

Mr. Richard Kilborn
National Director of Investment

Richard Kilborn is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a degree in Political Science. He currently holds the position of National Director of Investment Promotion for the Ministry of Commerce and Trade of Panama.

He has more than 24 years of experience in the financial sector, and has held multiple positions on boards of several financial institutions such as Financiera Familiar, and Frontier Financial Services Inc.

He has also been published in several magazines and is the author of the award winning novel “Good Money Gone”, which won best novel in the International Latin Book Awards in the category of “Adventure - Drama” in 2014.

Mr. Ping Liu
Director, Tariff and Trade Affairs

Ping Liu has a professional customs career of more than 30 years, mainly devoted to customs taxation and trade facilitation. In his capacity of Director of the Tariff and Trade Affairs Directorate of the WCO, he is responsible for the overall management of the WCO’s work on Customs revenue collection (the Harmonized System, Customs Valuation and Rules of Origin). Before taking up his current position, Ping held various positions at the General Administration of Customs of China, the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO, the WCO Secretariat and the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. He served as Chairperson of the WCO Technical Committee on Rules of Origin for 7 years and as Chairperson of the WTO Committee on Customs Valuation. He was involved in the negotiations and implementation of the market-access commitments in relation to China’s accession to the WTO and Free Trade Agreements between China and its trading partners as well as the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

Mr. Chris Martin
Co-chairs of the OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade (TF-CIT)

Chris MARTIN, MBA, Dip. Man.

Chris has 45 years service in HM Customs and Excise and HM Revenue and Customs, with the past 38 years in the criminal investigation and intelligence disciplines.

He has wide international experience. He opened the first UK drugs liaison post in Paris in 1992 and returned to France in 2002 to perform the fiscal crime role. Between 2006 and 2009 he led the HMRC Fiscal Crime Liaison Network, driving through a significant expansion programme in China, Malaysia, Eastern Europe and the UAE. From 2012 to 2018 he served as Counsellor for Fiscal Crime Liaison at the British Embassy, Washington DC. He now leads a series of cross cutting projects for HMRC Organised Crime Operations, and is involved in the development of UK Free Ports policy

He has also undertaken several external secondments, to the police regional crime squads, to the National Criminal Intelligence Service, and to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office - for the strategic drugs survey of Central Asia 2001/02.

He became active in the OECD Countering Illicit Trade Task Force in 2014, and has held the position of Co-Chair since 2018.

Dr. Kunio Mikuriya
Secretary General

Kunio Mikuriya is Secretary General of the World Custom Organization. Prior to becoming Secretary General in 2009, Dr. Mikuriya worked for Japan's Ministry of Finance for 25 years. During his career with the Ministry, he occupied a variety of senior posts; he served as Director of Enforcement where he led efforts to fight illicit trade, then as Director of Research and International Affairs paving the way for the conclusion of the first regional trade agreement for Japan, and then as a Counsellor in the Tariff and Customs Bureau. He also spent time as a Counsellor at the Japanese Mission to the WTO in Geneva and participated in the GATT Uruguay Round trade negotiations. Dr. Mikuriya has a degree in law from the University of Tokyo and a PhD in international relations from the University of Kent.

Mr. Shubhendu Misra
Alliance Global Director

A lawyer by qualification, Shubhendu has over 25 years’ experience in the area of Customs and Indirect Taxes. Shubhendu has lived and worked in India, Singapore, China, Thailand and more recently dividing time between France & Japan. He is the Global Director for the Alliance Customs and Trade function for the Renault-Nissan Alliance, leading their strategic and operational trade function across all markets. He was previously a Partner with EY Singapore, and his prior industry experience also includes being the Customs and Trade Director for General Motors’ International Operations.

Having lived and worked in multiple countries/ regions and exposure to both in-house executive roles and consulting, give him a unique and comprehensive perspective of trade & indirect tax matters faced by businesses, and to come up with solutions that balance operational, compliance and duty/ tax cost considerations.

His area of expertise spans customs valuation, classification, FTA analysis and implementation and controversy management.

Shubhendu has experience in supply chain and legal entity restructuring projects to optimize duty and compliance costs. His experience also includes sourcing realignment to enhance local content and to address transfer pricing concerns in customs bonded free zone operations; green field facilities set up including analyzing and negotiating government incentives; and supplier footprint optimization projects to achieve optimal balance between landed cost of input material versus local content and free trade agreement considerations for resultant final products.

He has also been involved in various tax policy initiatives in the Excise Tax and VAT area in India and Thailand. He was a co-opted member of Singapore’s Customs Advisory Council for several years and is currently a member of WCO’s Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG).

Mr. Michael Morantz

Michael Morantz is an Policy Analyst at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog. Prior to working at the FATF, Michael spent several years working on illicit trade, counterfeits and Free Trade Zones in the OECD’s Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade. Prior to this, Michael spent five years in the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) developing policies for frontline Customs officers and on the international engagement of the Agency. Michael holds a degree in economics from McGill University in Montreal and a Masters from Sciences Po Paris in international economic policy.

Ms. Rosine Kemi Onabanjo
Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Lagos office

Kemi Onabanjo is an Associate Partner in McKinsey’s Lagos office. Since joining in 2011, she has become a key member of the Firm’s West Africa Public and Social Sector Practice and a member of the Nigeria Office Leadership Group.

She co-leads McKinsey’s work on economic development (especially in driving industrialization through SEZs and industrial parks) and public finance (especially Customs) focused on West Africa, advising and supporting both national and sub-national levels of government on the design and delivery of large scale and high impact transformations.

Kemi has worked extensively with the public sector, private sector and several multilaterals across the continent, and, she co-leads McKinsey’s relationship with the Federal Government in Nigeria.

She holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Covenant University and an MBA from INSEAD in France.

Ms. Sophie Peresson

Sophie Peresson joined the International Chamber of Commerce in 2017. She is Director of the Innovation for All Hub, a role that involves leading ICC policy development and advocacy on anti-counterfeiting and piracy, intellectual property, Internet governance and digital policy.

Sophie oversees the work of BASCAP – Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy. In response to growing levels of counterfeiting and piracy, BASCAP raises awareness of the devastating socio-economic harm of these illicit activities and advocates for the effective enforcement and protection of IPRs by local, national, regional, and international authorities. BASCAP provides unparalleled research and policy recommendations on counterfeiting and piracy issues, responding to and anticipating the needs of its Member companies worldwide.

Sophie has an established track-record of managing multi-country projects and programmes, and of leading research and policy analysis. Prior to joining ICC, she was the director of Transparency International’s global Health and Pharmaceuticals programme where she worked mainly on the counterfeiting, corruption and ethical business practice issues.

Sophie graduated from the Sorbonne Law school and went on to graduate from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). In 2017 she completed an MSc at the London School of Hygiene and tropical Medicine. She is bilingual English-French and has a good command of Spanish.

Mr. Nidal Salameh
Head of Clearance Unit, Al- Zarqa FZ Custom House

Nidal Salameh

The Follow Up Section is the bridge between Customs Authorities and the Free Zones Corporation, this section incorporates the (Joint Audit Team). The Section has access to all electronic systems of both Customs and Free Zones. Our role is mainly to bridge the “control” gap between the operations and procedures of both authorities.

Before that, I was Head of the Transit Clearance Section in the Free Zones and earlier in charge of five bonded warehouses In Sahab Customs Center.

Currently working closely the Free Zones Authority to track every entry to the free zones and make sure that it meets all required conditions, and make field visits and office audits on deposits already stored in the free zone.

Mr. James Swanson
Director over Cargo Security and Controls

Jim Swanson is currently serving as the Director, Cargo Security and Controls division for CBP’s Office of Field Operations. In that capacity, he has responsibility for cargo release, bonded facilities, ACE liaison, as well as all cargo export oversight. He has previously served as a Customs Inspector, Area Port Director, Baltimore, MD and as a program manager and Branch Chief over cargo issues as well as a program manager on the ACE project with responsibilities over requirements, testing and deployment of ACE programming.

Mr. Ricardo Treviño Chapa
Deputy Secretary General

Ricardo Treviño has a Bachelor degree in Finance from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and a Master’s degree in Global Banking and Finance from the University of Birmingham, UK.

With almost 20 years of career in public sector, he started in Mexico’s Federal Government at the Institute for Protection of Bank Savings in areas such as processes improvement, analysis of financial support and asset management.

He served as General Director for Revenue Collection at the State of Mexico’s Government where revenue collection tripled during his term. He also worked as General Director of the Social Security Institute of the State of Mexico, where he led a legal reform to strengthen the pension system.

In 2013 he joined the Federal Tax Administration Service as Administrator General of Evaluation and Internal Affairs, where he was responsible for developing actions to strengthen integrity and transparency in Customs procedures.

In 2015, he was appointed by the President of Mexico and ratified by the Senate as Head of Customs. During his tenure in office, Mr. Treviño promoted the digitalization of Customs procedures and cooperation with other border agencies. Through the implementation of technology and data analysis, the risk alert effectiveness increased impacting positively on revenue collection.

Since January 2018, Ricardo Treviño has taken over the position of Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization after being elected by its Council. He is currently in charge among other matters, of leading the efforts to update the Organizations flagship tool: The Revised Kyoto Convention and of defining and following up on the Organization’s Strategic Plan for the period 2019-2022 including its strategic goals, priorities and deliverables.

As deputy Secretary General, he follows up on the correct implementation of WCO’s Strategic Plan, overseeing and coordinating the efforts done by the three directorates of the Organization: Compliance and Facilitation, Tariff and Trade Affairs and Capacity Building.

Mr Treviño is also in charge of the Research Unit which annually writes and publishes a variety of papers and study reports. This year, research is focusing on Free Trade Zones, Environmental Risk for Customs and the use of data science in customs procedures. He is also in charge of leading the work on developing a comprehensive mechanism that will allow customs administrations measure their performance.

Mr. Yasuhiro Yoshida
Assistant Manager

Yasuhiro Yoshida is a certified Patent and Trademark Attorney and working as Assistant Manager, Trademark/Brand Protection Group, IP Division, of Toyota Motor Corporation for 7 years.  He has served as Project Lead on the Middle East & Africa Project under International Intellectual Property Protection Forum (IIPPF) since 2019.  He was the Vice Chairman of Trademark Committee in Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA) from 2015 to 2016.