3 WCO Strategic Plan Introduction 1. The purpose of this document is to present the WCO Strategic Plan that was approved by the Council in June 2013 for the years 2013/2014 to 2015/2016, and to provide updates to reflect further developments in the Customs Environment. Background 2. The WCO Strategic Plan is a comprehensive and high-level policy instrument, which guides the programmes, projects and other initiatives implemented by the WCO Secretariat. The Strategic Plan is prepared through a multi-step process, including consultations with Members, Regions and all key governance bodies of the WCO. 3. The WCO Strategic Plan has been defined as a living document and over the last few years it has evolved and progressed, with significant changes being implemented. In the 2011/2012 Strategic Plan, new Mission, Vision, and Values Statements were included. The structure of the Strategic Plan was shifted from a function-based approach to an objective-based approach. Clear links to the C21 document were also included to align these two important tools. 4. In the 2012/2013 Strategic Plan, the WCO Mission Statement was revised again to reflect feedback from relevant stakeholders. The Strategic Plan was also divided into two parts - a strategic part and a tactical part - to better distinguish between the high-level strategic document, and the operational activities necessary to meet these strategic objectives. 5. Another improvement introduced in 2012/2013, was the inclusion of financial implications information at Strategic Activity level. Finally, a new cycle for the formulation of the Strategic Plan was proposed in order to ensure timely and effective consultation of all governance bodies of the WCO. 6. In 2013, the Strategic Plan fully implemented the new planning cycle as approved at previous Council Sessions. This new cycle began with a presentation of a first outline of the Strategic Plan to the Policy Commission s December 2012 session in Kyoto. The Policy Commission s feedback, including a new Vision Statement, was then incorporated into the document by the WCO s Senior Management Team during the off-site Strategic Planning session in January The Strategic Plan was then reviewed by the Audit Committee to ensure alignment with the execution of the goals of the Organization and the appropriateness of the proposed Performance Indicators. Following the Audit Committee, the Strategic Plan went to the Finance Committee for it to review the financial implications of the new Plan. 7. Finally, the Strategic Plan was submitted to the June 2013 Policy Commission and Council, and was approved for a three-year period. 3.
4 Content 8. The WCO Strategic Plan includes the Basic Statements of the WCO, the Organization s Strategic Goals and Activities and links to the C21 Building Blocks. The WCO Mission Statement describes the overall purpose of the Organization (Why we exist). The Vision Statement and the C21 (Customs in the 21 st Century) consider the long-term perspective of the WCO and its Members (Where we are going). Values represent the core priorities in the Organization s culture (What we believe in). 9. These Basic Statements set the scene for the Strategic Goals and Activities that are defined within the Strategic Plan. 10. The Annex to the Strategic Plan defines the Tactical and Operational Activities of the Organization. 11. Performance Indicators have been reviewed and modified to ensure relevance and were presented to and approved by the February 2015 Audit Committee. The Secretary General will report on these Performance Indicators twice a year at the Policy Commission sessions and once a year at the Council Sessions. 12. The costing information includes the WCO budget, voluntary contributions and the use of Technical Attachés, in accordance with the methodology approved by the Finance Committee in 2012, and was presented for review to the March/April 2015 Finance Committee. 13. Finally, the structure introduced to organize the Strategic Plan is presented in the form of a diagram that depicts the four main pillars of the Strategic Plan (see page 5 below). Each pillar represents one of four Packages developed by the WCO. The three remaining Goals are transversal in nature, cutting across all of the Packages. 4.
6 WCO Mission Statement The WCO provides leadership, guidance and support to Customs administrations to secure and facilitate legitimate trade, realize revenues, protect society and build capacity. WCO Vision Statement Borders divide, Customs connects Dynamically leading modernization and connectivity in a rapidly changing world. WCO Values We are a knowledge-based and action-oriented organization. We believe in transparent, honest, and auditable governance procedures. We are responsive to our Members, stakeholders in trade, and society. We capitalize on technology and innovation. 6.
7 PART I - STRATEGIC GOALS AND ACTIVITIES Strategic Goal 1 - Promote the security and facilitation of international trade, including simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures = Economic Competitiveness Package The WCO is working with its Members to ensure growth by securing and promoting economic competitiveness. Trade security and facilitation is one of the key factors for economic development of nations and is closely tied into national agendas on social wellbeing, poverty reduction and economic development of countries and their citizens. Likewise, the WCO provides a forum for the development of instruments and tools to simplify and harmonize Customs procedures Develop, manage and promote conventions, guidelines, standards and tools on trade security and facilitation The WCO will continue to work on developing international standards for Customs procedures. It promotes the Revised Kyoto Convention and is working to support the Trade Facilitation Negotiating Group under the World Trade Organization. The WCO has also launched the Economic Competitiveness Package (ECP). It further develops, maintains and promotes the SAFE Framework of Standards, the Time Release Study, and other instruments and tools to achieve trade security and facilitation. It also monitors the implementation of the Resolution on the Role of Customs in Natural Disaster Relief. Related C21 building blocks : Intelligence-driven risk management. Implementation of modern working methods, procedures and techniques Support effective preparation for the implementation of WTO TFA provisions through use of WCO instruments, tools and assistance. The WCO welcomes the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Trade Facilitation (TFA) adopted at the WTO s Ninth Ministerial Conference in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 7 December It constitutes an important milestone for the WTO and global trade. The potential of the TFA in the Bali Package is significant. According to analysis, the measures will boost prosperity by reducing administrative burden and transaction costs, and are expected to save developing countries around US$325 billion a year and accelerate their integration into the global value chains. According to the OECD, developed countries also stand to gain with a 10 percent cut in their trade costs and easier trade flows for their operators. The potential new gains from trade facilitation are considerable, especially for countries that have yet to apply its principles. The TFA relates to all building blocks of C21. 7.
8 1.3. Promote coordinated border management Coordinated border management (CBM) is an important trade facilitation contribution to improved border management procedures that enhances economic growth and development. The increasing flow of both goods and travellers across borders, and the expectation that such movements should take place without undue delay, puts pressure on all border agencies to rationalize their operations. CBM further enables governments to reduce their border control costs whilst simultaneously delivering enhanced efficiency and effectiveness. CBM also plays a significant role in a nation s economic competiveness by better facilitating trade and travel. Coordinated Border Management Enhance partnership with private sector The WCO maintains close partnerships with a large number of private sector organizations. Such partnerships are in many cases formalized through a Memorandum of Understanding. Fostering the Customs-trade partnership has traditionally been an important part of the WCO s work, but this work has been taken to new levels in recent years with the establishment of the Private Sector Consultative Group and the new emphasis on strategic pacts with trusted economic operators. Customs-Trade partnership Manage and promote Information Technology Modern Customs organizations have a very high degree of dependency on the application of Information Technology (IT) that is recognized for its contribution to the economic competitiveness of a nation. IT is a horizontal topic with deep cross-linkages with several of the building blocks of Customs in the 21 st Century. The WCO will focus on some of its key instruments related to the use of IT in Customs. Related C21 building blocks : Coordinated Border Management. Enabling technology and tools. 8.
9 Strategic Goal 2 - Promote fair, efficient, and effective Revenue collection = Revenue Package Collection of revenue remains a top priority for many Customs administrations, particularly in economies where a substantial portion of government revenue is derived from Customs duties. A modern Customs administration needs to apply the relevant tools and instruments - developed by the WCO and other international bodies - in a consistent manner in order to achieve fair, efficient, and effective revenue collection Develop, manage and promote standards, guidelines and tools on revenue collection The WCO will continue to develop and maintain standards and guidelines associated to revenue collection. Through technical assistance and training events, the WCO will promote and explain the good practices established in the new Revenue Package guidelines on Valuation, Post-Clearance Audit, Origin and Classification. These guidelines highlight the need to establish a coordinated, risk-based approach to the identification and collection of revenue which is legally due, respecting international conventions and standards. This approach will enable Customs administrations to meet their strategic objectives of collecting all revenues for which they are responsible and facilitating compliant international trading activities. Implementation of modern working methods, procedures and techniques Conduct study on fair and efficient revenue collection The collection of revenue has historically been one of the cornerstones of Customs administrations responsibilities and continues to be an area of high importance to WCO Members. Further work will be undertaken to address ways in which a modern Customs administration can apply relevant tools and instruments - developed by the WCO and other international bodies - in a consistent manner in order to achieve fair and efficient revenue collection. Implementation of modern working methods, procedures and techniques. 9.
10 Strategic Goal 3 - Protect society, public health and safety = Compliance and Enforcement Package The efficiency and effectiveness of Customs border compliance is a determining factor in ensuring goods, people and means of transport comply with laws and regulations, the attainment of safe and secure communities, the economic competitiveness of nations, the growth of international trade and the development of the global marketplace. The WCO will continue to develop and maintain standards and guidelines with respect to the goal of protecting society. The exchange of Customs enforcement information and Intelligence is crucial to the WCO s Enforcement Strategy. To this end, the WCO will coordinate and implement Customs law enforcement initiatives and operational activities with assistance from key stakeholders Develop, manage and promote standards, guidelines and tools to combat illicit trade The WCO has developed a wide range of instruments, tools and guidance materials in order to assist Members in implementing effective and efficient controls, provide confidence to investors and business through transparent and predictable rules and regulations, and protect society by intercepting and suppressing illicit trade and criminal activities through enhanced enforcement procedures. Related C21 building blocks : Enabling technology and tools. Intelligence-driven risk management. Enabling powers Manage capacities to exchange Customs enforcement information and Intelligence Information and Intelligence exchange continues to be one of the pillars of the WCO s enforcement strategy. In this context, and working with other enforcement agencies, the WCO s Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) play a key role. The WCO will also continue to promote better coordination and exchange of information amongst all agencies involved in border security. Related C21 building blocks : Intelligence-driven risk management. Coordinated Border Management. 10.
11 3.3. Coordinate and implement Customs law enforcement initiatives and operational activities In an effort to counter fraud, illicit trade, smuggling and the scourge of transnational organized crime, the WCO will continue coordinating with Member administrations, RILOs and other international organizations operational activities and programmes focusing on high-risk transactions at international border crossing points. Related C21 building blocks : Intelligence-driven risk management. Enabling powers. 11.
12 Strategic Goal 4 - Strengthen Capacity Building = Organizational Development Package Effective and efficient Customs administrations are vital for the economic, social and security development of States. The WCO, as the global centre of Customs excellence, plays a central role in development, promotion and support for the implementation of modern Customs standards, procedures and systems and has positioned itself as a global leader in Capacity Building delivery. The development of Capacity Building tools is linked to three enablers that were emphasized by the Capacity Building Committee as essential for sustainable development and modernization : Political Will, People and Partnerships Develop, implement, manage and promote guidelines and tools on Customs Capacity Building The WCO will continue to provide Capacity Building to Members for implementation of the standards embodied in WCO instruments, develop assistance for core Customs competences and capacities, and identify and publish case studies, best practices and lessons learned from Customs Capacity Building. In order for Customs administrations to build capacity through reform and modernization, and achieve their objectives, the WCO follows an organizational development approach that consists of three phases, namely diagnostic; planning and implementation; and monitoring and evaluation. Capacity Building Manage and promote stakeholders engagement The WCO Secretariat will maintain a collaborative relationship with its network of Donors and Organizations that support and finance development. This will be done by improving donor engagement and coordination, supporting the development of business cases and project proposals, procuring funds, and meeting the requirements of Governments and Donors that provide funding for reform and modernization. In particular, support will be provided to assist administrations to secure support from policy-makers. Capacity Building. 12.
13 4.3. Develop, implement, manage and promote guidelines and tools on Human Resource Development The importance of human resource (HR) development for modern Customs is widely recognized. In a fast-moving environment administrations need to attract, recruit, train and retain officers and develop both core Customs capabilities as well as new capabilities required as a result of modernization programmes. High levels of professionalism and integrity need to be maintained. Related C21 building blocks : A professional, knowledge-based service culture. Capacity Building Develop, manage and promote Integrity tools and Integrity-related projects Integrity, which has traditionally been a challenge for Customs administrations in every region, is crucial for successful application of WCO standards. Without Integrity, Customs cannot reach its mandated objectives. The WCO has developed a number of instruments and tools that strengthen Integrity in administrations, and it will continue to work on their development, management and promotion. Integrity. 13.
14 Strategic Goal 5 - Promote information exchange between all stakeholders The WCO provides a forum for international cooperation to promote greater connectivity and more harmonious interaction, including the exchange of information and experience and the identification of best practices, between Member administrations, other government agencies, international organizations, the private sector and other relevant stakeholders Implement Globally Networked Customs (GNC) The challenges of the 21 st Century require new approaches for cooperation between Customs administrations and all relevant stakeholders for purposes of applying Customs controls while facilitating legitimate trade. Most WCO activities are linked to information exchange and close cooperation, and therefore the requirement is to create a global Customs network in support of international trade and Customs controls. The term network does not apply to a single system, but to a systematic approach which aims to deliver seamless, real-time and paperless flows of information between Customs administrations. Globally Networked Customs Develop, implement, manage and promote protocols, standards, guidelines, models and tools for structured exchange of information Intelligence is a vital element of enforcement for Customs administrations which have to perform selective and targeted controls to avoid disrupting legitimate trade. However, Intelligence cannot be produced without gathering a critical mass of information and data together which must then be evaluated and analyzed before being turned into trends and risk indicators. Structured exchanges and the use of protocols, standards, guidelines, models and tools contribute to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs. To support this information need, the WCO has developed a global network for gathering data and information. This global network, which also acts as a central depositary for enforcement-related information, is known as the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN). Related C21 building blocks : Globally Networked Customs. Customs-Trade partnership. 14.
15 Strategic Goal 6 - Raise the performance and profile of Customs The WCO and the international Customs community promote their strategic priorities, roles and contributions through cooperation, communication and partnership with governments, other international and regional organizations, donors and the private sector Deliver Capacity Building according to Members needs The WCO has mobilized the entire WCO Secretariat and regional structures toward a corporate approach, which is responsive, needs-driven and focused on Capacity Building. The WCO Secretariat manages the Columbus Programme and will further expand the development and delivery of Customs Capacity Building support. This includes the enhancement of formal and informal mechanisms for identifying the needs of Members, the further development of delivery models, the use of new partnership arrangements and increasing the availability of expertise. The WCO will also enhance the regional structures abilities to manage the delivery process of Capacity Building support. Capacity Building Enhance and manage partnerships with relevant international organizations and strategic stakeholders, including Members The WCO cooperates and collaborates with many international organizations, as well as with WCO Members and the global Customs community's strategic stakeholders, with the aim of raising the profile of the WCO and its various activities, including the critical role played by Customs administrations in managing, facilitating and securing cross-border trade effectively and efficiently. Related C21 building blocks : Capacity Building. Customs-Trade partnership Enhance communications with strategic stakeholders The WCO uses multiple platforms to communicate information about its activities and tools to its stakeholders as a means to deepen understanding of global Customs issues, to advance further cooperation and the exchange of information, and to promote the importance of Customs to national economic competitiveness and growth, as well as effective border enforcement. Customs-Trade partnership. 15.
16 6.4. Promote the activities and tools of the WCO The WCO undertakes a range of promotion activities, including the organization of high-level events across the globe, in order to strengthen the image and profile of the WCO among all actors in international trade, to enhance global recognition for the work undertaken by the WCO and Customs, and to ensure that Customs issues are seen as integral to the world trading system. Customs-Trade partnership Manage sound administration of WCO Secretariat The WCO Secretariat maintains a high standard of good governance and transparency in conjunction with responsible, effective and efficient management of both human and financial resources. Principally, the WCO Secretariat prepares the annual budget proposal for the following year for consideration and acceptance by the Finance Committee. Similarly, an Audit Plan is implemented as agreed by the Audit Committee. A professional, knowledge-based service culture. 16.
17 Strategic Goal 7 - Conduct Research and Analysis The WCO conducts research and analysis on a wide range of Customs and international trade topics using various methods in order to promote a professional, knowledge-based service culture, and to benefit the WCO membership and external stakeholders Produce and disseminate research on Customs and international trade topics The WCO produces and disseminates research on a wide range of Customs and international trade topics. The research is generally in the form of papers that are published on the WCO s Web site and in external journals, and presented at WCO Committee meetings and at research conferences. A professional, knowledge-based service culture Enhance the WCO s research partnerships with academia and practitioners The WCO works to enhance its research partnerships with academia and practitioners. This is accomplished by the organization of research conferences, such as the annual PICARD Conference, and also informal and informal networking. A professional, knowledge-based service culture. 17.
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