2015 Knowledge Academy

Regional integration: a key strategy for accelerating economic growth and competitiveness through increased trade.

The WCO Regional Integration Conference will explore the challenges that Customs and other border agencies face in regional integration projects, bringing together practitioners that faced these challenges and surmounted them.

The Regional Integration Conference will focus on a range of regional-integration-related issues, including priorities, challenges and ways forward. The Conference will also address regional integration in the context of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, the use of international standards, and capacity building support. In addition, topics such as regional risk management, information exchange, interoperability, single window, coordinated border management and transit will be discussed.

Invitation letters to attend the WCO Regional Integration Conference have been sent to all WCO Members, Observers and international organisations involved in regional integration efforts with information about registration using the WCO on-line registration system. Please consult your usual contact points within your country or organisation concerning WCO matters for more information.

The WCO Regional Integration Conference is held at the start of the 2015 WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs and Trade. Anyone who registers for the Knowledge Academy is automatically registered for the Regional Integration Conference.

The Conference itself is free of charge. Should you wish to participate only in the Regional Integration Conference and you are not a Member of the WCO or an official Observer, please send an e-mail to: regional_integration_conference@wcoomd.org.

Draft Agenda Regional integration conference

Brussels, WCO Headquarters

15-16 June 2015

Day 1




08:45 – 09:30

Arrival of participants and registration

09:30 – 09:40


Masters of Ceremony: Ms. Karolyn Salcedo and Ms. Hermie George, WCO Secretariat


Opening address: Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General

09:40 – 11:00

Session 1: Regional Integration: Stages, Priorities and Challenges


Moderator: Mr. Theo Hesselink, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Gonzalo Pereira, Director General Customs, Chile, Pacific Alliance


Ms. Dagmar Hertova, Economic Affairs Officer, UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)


Mr. El Aid Mahsoussi, Executive President, Agadir Technical Unit (ATU)

11:00 – 11:20

Coffee and networking break

11:20 – 13:00

Session 2: Regional integration  - Global connectivity at regional level

Panel discussion on the use of international standards, instruments and tools in regional integration


Moderator: Mr. Erich Kieck, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Rajendran Sabaratnam, Additional Director General, Sri Lanka Customs


Mr. Takashi Nakao, Deputy Director, Customs and Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance, Japan


Mr. Frank Janssens, Head of Unit of the Customs Business, Project and Data Management Unit, EU TAXUD


Ms. Lan Hu, Director, General Administration of Customs, P. R. China


Conference Group Photo

13:00 – 15:00

Lunch and networking break

15:00 – 16:00

Session 3: Regional integration  - Mercator Programme – technical assistance for trade facilitation


Moderator: Ms. Milena Budimirovic, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Ali Ibn Abi Talib Mahmoud, Ambassador (currently senior cooperation specialist in the cooperation and integration department) Islamic Development Bank


Mr. Souleymane Sangare, Director Regional Office for Capacity Building, West and Central Africa (ROCB-WCA)


Mr. Sishir Kumar Dhungana, Director General of Customs, Nepal

16:00 – 16:20

Coffee and networking break

16:20 – 18:00

Session 4: A regional approach to risk management


Moderator: Mr. Sergio Mujica, WCO Deputy Secretary General


Mr. Enrique Canon, Director General, Uruguay Customs


Mr. Richard Chopra, Programme Manager, Capacity Building, WCO


Mr. J. Wakoli Wambati, Regional Project Manager WCO-EAC Customs for Regional East Africa Trade Project


Mr. A. Umut Ergezer, Technical Adviser CEFTA Secretariat


Cocktail hosted by Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, WCO

Day 2


09:00 – 10:30

Session 5: Use of IT - Information exchange, interoperability and regional Single Windows


Moderator: Ms. Heike Barczyk, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Donald Tan, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Rob Van Kuik, Counsellor Tax Policy Directorate, the Netherlands

Mr; Erik Bosker, Senior Policy Officer, Animal Supply Chain and Animal Welfare Department, Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Netherlands

Ms. Ye Ding
, Second Secretary (Customs), Mission of China to the EU


Ms. Ebale Nguessan Yvonne Epse Niambe, Deputy Director of Conditional Relief Procedures, Head of the Interconnection Project, Côte d’Ivoire

10:30 – 11:00

Coffee and networking break

11:00 – 12:30

Session 6: Coordinated Border Management


Moderator: Mr. Dmitry Subochev
Third Secretary (Customs), Embassy of the Russian Federation, Belgium


Mr. Andrey Avramenko, Specialist Expert, Eurasian Economic Commission


Mr. Gaozhang Zhu, WCO Secretariat


Ms. Elsie Mwachande, First Secretary, Embassy of Malawi in Brussels


Mr. Pierre Paquet, Counsellor (Border Services), Mission of Canada to the European Union

12:30 – 14:30

Lunch and networking break

14:30 – 16:00

Session 7: Transit and other solutions to remove non-harmonised trade barriers


Moderator: Ms. Minette Libom Li Likeng, WCO Regional Vice Chair for West and Central Africa and Director General Cameroon Customs


Mr. Toshihiko Osawa, WCO Secretariat


Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, Director of Customs, East African Community (EAC) Secretariat,


Mr. Mehmet Ali Oran, European Union Expert, Ministry of Customs and Trade, Turkey


Ms. Dominique Janssens, Executive Officer, German Customs

16:00 – 16:30


Closing remarks: Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, WCO Secretary General