Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) receives World Customs Organization delegation


His Excellency Director General of Abu Dhabi Customs Administration (ADCA) Mr. Saeed Al Muhairi, accompanied by Mr. Abu Bakr Al-Fahim, Manager of ADCA's Training, Development and Capacity Building Division, and Head of ROCB MENA Ms. Hamida Al Jabri, received a delegation from the World Customs Organization (WCO) that arrived on a 4-day, special visit to the ROCB MENA headquarters in Abu Dhabi, on March 12-15, 2012.

The visiting delegation included WCO's Capacity Building Operation Manager Mr. Daniel Perrier, WCO's Technical Attache Mr. Fredric Trahin, Head of International Cooperation Department and WCO Vice Chair representative Mr. Mohammed Atiqi.

The study aimed at discussing the concepts, strategies and approaches of capacity building, and ways to define and difficulties and challenges facing customs administrations in the Middle East region, as well as the best methods to evaluate and analyze regional needs according to their importance which stems from international WCO standards, ways to promote mutual cooperation between WCO, ROCB MENA and regional training centers in Riyadh, Alexandria and Beirut and defining the roles and responsibilities of each member country within the region.

The discussions also addressed ways for ADCA to support ROCB in building capacity and the office's strategic plan for 2012-2013 and its main features, in addition to ROCB's operational budget and the consistency between its strategic plan and operational budget.
The visit program included, in particular, familiarizing ROCB personnel with its roles and responsibilities, and informing them of WCO's methodologies, devices and programs, in order to determine the level of knowledge among ROCB personnel and present results and recommendations in this regard.

Capacity building can be defined as the modernization of customs systems and procedures according to international standards, methodologies, rules and mechanisms which take into consideration the specific customs environment of each member country. The implementation of the capacity building program (Columbus) goes through three stages: diagnosis, implementation and evaluation. It is related to building sustainable, institutional capability for managing change with time and setting strategic policies and cooperation outlines capable of managing and leading the institution into the future.

In the customs context, capacity building generally means developing or acquiring necessary skills, competencies, methods, operations and resources to improve management's capacity to carry out its duties and fulfill its goals. Capacity building is a comprehensive process which includes all aspects of customs management. It cannot be implemented successfully based narrowly on technical aspects or on single matters. For instance, active implementation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Valuation Agreement requires a lot more than one governmental agreement. Rather, it usually requires the introduction of legislative changes and new administrative infrastructure, developing and implementing new systems and procedures, and achieving a remarkable increase in the knowledge of national customs personnel.

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