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Role of Customs in conditions of war

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BRUSSELS : On 27 May 2022, at the invitation of the University of Customs and Finance of Ukraine, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), participated in an online discussion platform on “Customs of Ukraine in Conditions of War and Post-War State”. Dr. Mikuriya made several recommendations for the post-war recovery of Customs in Ukraine, based on the concept of “Fragile Borders” that the WCO has developed.

In his opening speech, Secretary General Mikuriya suggested that Ukraine Customs takes an ownership approach in developing a recovery plan to make sure that the project responds to its real needs and are not driven by any donor’s agenda. He also underlined the importance for Ukraine Customs to develop its enforcement capabilities as fragile and conflict-affected borders, including those affected by war, tend to attract more illicit trade. Dr. Mikuriya posited that it is a pivotal moment that needs to be maximized in order to accelerate the reform of Ukraine Customs and secure the trust of the policy-makers and the public. In line with the WCO’s technical mandate and hands-on approach, he stated that the Organization had already initiated discussions with Ukraine Customs on how best to assist in its endeavours.

The discussion platform attracted local and international participants from Customs administrations and academia and provided support and shared experience for the recovery of Ukraine Customs.

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