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Activity > International > PICARD Conference 2013

PICARD Conference 2013

The 8th annual PICARD Conference was held in St Petersburg, Russian Federation from 18 to 20 September 2013.  This event was jointly organized by the WCO and the International Business and Law Institute of NRU ITMO (IMBIP), with the participation of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation (FCS) and with support from the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU).

The WCO PICARD Programme was officially launched in 2006 to strengthen co-operation between the WCO, universities, and Customs human resources entities such as Customs Academies.  The programme’s objective is to provide a platform where stakeholders can co-operate, collaborate, and contribute to two main pillars: (1) Customs professionalism and (2) Customs-related research.

PICARD Conference was held in Russia for the first time and, according to the organizers attracted a record number of participants: 290 delegates from 75 countries. Among them, more than 30 ministers and deputy ministers , heads of Director Ports Inspection Directorate, European Free Trade Association, WCO; representatives of customs agencies , business associations, educational institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, North and South America, Australia, and Russia.

The leaders of the host Party were: Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organization; Vladimir N. Vasilev, Rector of ITMO; Sergey Komlichenko, Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia; and Andrew Kokorev, Chairman of the Board of the Development Fund FEA "Caduceus" and general partner of the Forum who did not only took participation in the conference, but also welcomed all participants with a speech.

Opening the 8th International PICARD Conference, Kunio Mikuriya stated one of the key objectives of the World Customs Organization: to develop evidence-based measures to improve global economic processes. Such standards for cooperation between customs agencies, business and scientific, research organizations, educational institutions and implements regional integration initiatives will enable Customs to operate much more efficiently.

In his speech, he also stressed the importance of closer cooperation between the Russian FCS, foreign customs and the international scientific community on the convergence of approaches in the field of customs legislation, providing scientific advice on management of the customs clearance process. PICARD program of the World Customs Organization, according to the FCS of Russia, helps to eliminate customs science high world level.

In the plenary sessions, interactive sessions, round tables with the participation of experts and participants’ presentations of the research, question about influence of the development, implementation and administration of regional integration initiatives on customs authorities; enhancement of the professionalism of the customs authorities and the practical application of the strategic document PICARD 2020 economic competitiveness package developed under PICARD took place.

Within three days of the conference, participants had the opportunity to see the results of research conducted by the representatives of Russian and foreign universities, business schools and customs authorities. Robert Ireland, Head of Strategic Research and the Office of the Secretary General of the WCO, specifically noted in his introduction “The World Customs Organization in International Customs Law” a research work firstly published in Belarus and now translated into Russian sponsored by Alexander Grebennikov , representative of the International University “MITSO”.

The last event of the conference was for the youth: with the organization and holding of the Youth Forum of the PICARD Conference, which was attended by students of majoring in "Customs".

Open discussion, making a speech in front of a large audience at the event of such importance is extremely valuable for the students motivation and professional growth in the area, academic knowledge and skills in which they receive today.