The 18th Global Meeting of the Regional Entities established by the WCO Members and the Council Vice-Chairs’ Offices (GMRE) was held in hybrid format from 20-21 February 2023. The GMRE was established by WCO Members and the Council Vice-Chair Offices. It acts under the overall direction of the WCO Capacity Building Committee with the mandate to:

  • guide and coordinate the work of Regional Entities and Council Vice-Chairs’ Offices in the area of capacity building;
  • enhance co-operation among Regional Entities; promote the application of common standards in order to ensure a harmonized approach and performance; and
  • provide advice to the WCO Capacity Building Committee.

The GMRE also helps to keep the WCO Enforcement Committee, Harmonized System Committee and Scientific Sub-Committee informed of any important Regional matters under consideration pertaining to the enforcement domain, the Harmonized System or Customs laboratories, respectively.

The 18th GMRE officially opened with an address from the Director of WCO Capacity Building Directorate, Mr Taeil Kang, and opening remarks by the incumbent GMRE Chairperson, Mr Norikazu Kuramoto, Director of Regional Office of Capacity Building (ROCB) Asia/Pacific (A/P). The meeting included presentations from newly established Regional Entities and Council Vice-Chair Offices who provided updates on respective initiatives. The 18th GMRE also discussed their Work Programme to support the implementation of the WCO Strategic Plan for 2022-2025 including objectives, action items, key performance indicators (KPIs), and indicative timelines for Member deliverables.

The 18th GMRE also covered matters on training materials and strategies, including E-learning developments, the VR Training Project and stress management. It also provided an opportunity to discuss the status, roles and responsibilities of Regional Entities, including branding and logo usage and guidelines in conjunction with broader WCO modernisation efforts.

The Asia/Pacific Region was represented by officers from the Asia/Pacific Regional Vice-Chair Secretariat Office, Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) A/P, ROCB A/P, Regional Training Centres, Regional Customs Laboratory (RCLs) and host administrations for these Regional Entities.