The 20th Meeting of Heads of the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Training Centers

18 Nov 2022

The 20th Meeting of Heads of the WCO Asia/Pacific Regional Training Centers, also named “RTC Heads Meeting” in short was held from 2 to 3 November 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand. With the gradual opening up of the member administrations, the RTC Meeting adopted in-person mode with an option of hybrid format to attend online. This year ROCB AP together with the RTC in Thailand were the hosts of the meeting.


The meeting was opened with welcome remarks by Mrs. Nunthita Sirikup, Deputy Director General of the Thai Customs Department. The WCO Director of Capacity Building, Mr. Tae-il Kang, made opening remarks and presented VR Training Equipment to Thai Customs.


The Heads of the 10 RTCs in the region, namely RTC China, RTC Fiji, RTC Hong Kong of China, RTC India, RTC Indonesia, RTC Iran, RTC Japan, RTC Korea, RTC Malaysia, and RTC Thailand, as well as representatives from the WCO Secretariat, the Asia/Pacific Vice-Chair’s Office and the RILO AP participated in the meeting.


During the meeting, the WCO Secretariat introduced the recently updated policies on the WCO Strategic Plan 2022-2025, WCO Data Strategy, Globalization and Fragmentation, Trade and Public Health, Green Customs, and lastly, Utilization of AI Technology in Space Intelligence.


Australia which is the Vice-chair of the WCO Asia and the Pacific region made a presentation on recent activities related to strengthening cooperation and support for capacity building as well as activating information sharing between member administrations.


The Heads of RTCs exchanged views on how to enhance customs capacities through strengthened professionalism and human resource networks to ultimately contribute to customs modernization efforts in the region. Each RTC shared programs, workshops, and seminars which were done by themselves. This was a good opportunity to learn from each other on training strategies and for future activity plan to reflect on.


Also, the delegates profoundly discussed the challenges and good practices of online customs training under COVID-19. Each delegate presented the lessons learned during the pandemic and the way forward for future capacity building activities. It was mentioned that through partnership and cooperation with stakeholders in public, private, and local communities, accessibility and capacity of digital and distance education could be much more improved. In addition, the delegates said that strategically choosing and combining the way of providing education is imperative in the near future.


Lastly, RILO AP made an expression that based on the information shared during the meeting, RILO AP will not only improve our existing activities scheme but also consistently support the ROCB AP and RTCs for better capacity building in Asia and the Pacific region.

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