About Us

2023 WCO Knowledge Academy for Customs and Trade

A three-day academy focusing on the
development of technical skills for
Customs and Trade practitioners
  WCO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium
  26 - 28 June 2023

The World Customs Organization (WCO), established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC) is an independent intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.

Today, the WCO represents 185 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.

The WCO’s governing body – the Council – relies on the competence and skills of a Secretariat and a range of technical and advisory committees to accomplish its mission. The Secretariat comprises over 100 international officials, technical experts and support staff of some nationalities.

As a forum for dialogue and exchange of experiences between national Customs delegates, the WCO offers its Members a range of Conventions and other international instruments, as well as technical assistance and training services provided either directly by the Secretariat, or with its participation. The Secretariat also actively supports its Members in their endeavours to modernize and build capacity within their national Customs administrations.

Besides the vital role played by the WCO in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade, its efforts to combat fraudulent activities are also recognized internationally. The partnership approach championed by the WCO is one of the keys to building bridges between Customs administrations and their partners. By promoting the emergence of an honest, transparent and predictable Customs environment, the WCO directly contributes to the economic and social well-being of its Members.

Finally, in an international environment characterized by instability and the ever-present threat of terrorist activity, the WCO’s mission to enhance the protection of society and the national territory, and to secure and facilitate international trade, takes on its full meaning.


This initiative brings together experts in Customs matters to meet the demands of a complex international and cross-border trading system. Business professionals, Customs managers and administrators, border agency officials, international organization representatives and academia will benefit from the interactive discussions on pertinent topics in the Customs environment.

This year, responding to the demand of Members and the private sector, the WCO is introducing a new format for the Academy. The event will start with a dynamic and interactive discussion between the participants and the WCO-management, led by the Secretary General and supported by the Deputy Directors of the Tariff and Trade Affairs directorate, the Facilitation sub-directorate, the Compliance and Enforcement sub-directorate, and the Capacity building directorate. Participants may share their questions before the session or interact with the leaders of the WCO on any topic they want to address during the session.

The training courses will be led by technical experts and will provide Customs and Business practitioners with bespoke sessions on HS, such as "HS - practical classification - working through examples" or "HS 2022 – understanding and using legal notes", as well as on Origin, and Valuation. Participants will also get be able to listen to updates on the work of the WCO on Green Customs and Circular economy, its Data Strategy and Data Model, as well as on Gender equality and diversity.

The Academy is open to all interested participants. Registration is free for two participant from each WCO Member administration. Additional participants from Member administrations, and non- WCO Member participants are subject to a fee. Private sector are welcomed to participate in all sessions for a fee of 200 euro. All sessions will be interpreted in English and French.

Who should attend?

Customs authorities, the broader business community, governmental and trade organizations, lending institutions, border regulatory agencies, and others involved in the international trade arena.

Why attend?

  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the WCO’s tools and instruments
  • Express business needs and expectations on core Customs issues
  • Share knowledge, know-how and expertise with participants
  • Be part of a vital Customs-Business knowledge network