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IFCBA Customs Brokers Meet at the World Customs Organization as Partners with Purpose

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BRUSSELS : Members of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA) from 12 countries with 40 delegates convened at the World Customs Organization (WCO) headquarters in Brussels on June 3-4. The meeting underscored the collaborative spirit and mutual goals shared by both organizations.

WCO Secretary General Ian Saunders welcomed the representatives, emphasizing the WCO’s theme for the year, “Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners With Purpose.” As a longstanding partner of the WCO, the IFCBA brings fresh insights and expertise on diverse topics, including the review of the Harmonized System of Tariff Classification, developments in Rules of Origin, the challenges posed by E-Commerce, initiatives for Green Customs, and strategies for Business Resilience. Delegates engaged in fruitful discussions with WCO subject matter experts on each of these critical subjects.

Highlighting the IFCBA’s active participation in the WCO Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG), PSCG Chair Jaime King from Mexico presented the group’s ongoing work and initiatives.

A major topic of interest among customs brokers globally is education, focusing on enhancing the knowledge base of IFCBA members and exploring opportunities for global certification. This meeting provided a platform for in-depth discussions with representatives from the WCO Academy regarding potential educational collaborations.

(L-R) Mr. Ian Saunders, Secretary General WCO and Mr. Shankar Shinde, Chairman IFCBA

IFCBA Chairman Shankar Shinde from India expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the initiatives of both the WCO and IFCBA members. He remarked, “Customs brokers play a key role in securing borders for the seamless movement of supply chains and facilitating trade with legal compliance at the national level. This collaboration with the WCO is crucial for creating a transparent, reliable, and trust-based environment in the ecosystem. It builds confidence through better understanding and supports the significant role played by the WCO in partnering with the IFCBA at the international level.”

In addition, the IFCBA members meeting with WCO secretariat representatives had insightful presentations from Ms. Gael Grooby, Acting Director of Tariff and Trade Directorate, Mr. Brendan O’Hearn, Deputy Director of Facilitation and Ms. Susanne Schwarz, E-learning Coordinator, Capacity Building Directorate.

As the delegates concluded their meetings in Brussels, they shared their excitement about the upcoming IFCBA 2025 Kyoto World Conference, which will be hosted by the Japan Customs Brokers Association (JCBA) from March 25 to 28, 2025. With its origins in the Pacific Rim and Japan as a founding country, the IFCBA looks forward to this event as a unique and valuable opportunity for networking and learning.


The International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations (IFCBA) is the global association representing National Associations of customs brokers. The IFCBA promotes the value and importance of customs brokers worldwide and works towards enhancing professional standards, education, and global cooperation.

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