Capacity Building

In the Customs context, capacity building is commonly understood to mean developing or acquiring the skills, competencies, tools, processes and resources needed to improve the capacity of the administration to carry out its allotted functions and achieve its objectives.
 
It is a broad and comprehensive process involving all aspects of Customs administration and cannot be tackled successfully on a narrow technical or single-issue basis. By way of example, the effective implementation of the WTO Valuation Agreement requires much more than simple government agreement. It usually involves legislative change, the creation of new administrative infrastructure, the development and implementation of new systems and procedures, and a significant increase in the skills and knowledge of national Customs officials. 
 
While there is no universally accepted model for modern Customs administration, the international Customs community believes all capacity building activities in Customs should be focused on increasing Customs? performance in respect of each of the key principles outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention. The following principles are therefore based heavily on the Convention:  

Integrity: Customs administrations should be free of corruption and strive to uphold the highest levels of integrity.  

Transparency: Customs laws, regulations, administrative guidelines and procedures should be made public and provided to clients in an easily accessible manner.  

Accountability: Customs administrations should be accountable for their actions through a transparent and easily accessible process of administration and/or judicial review.  

Predictability: customs laws, regulations, administrative guidelines and procedures should be applied in a stable and uniform manner.  
Facilitation & Control: While ensuring proper enforcement of customs laws and regulations, Customs administrations should strive to facilitate the processing and clearance of legitimate trade by risk management.  

Client Service: Customs administration should continually strive to improve the level of service they provide to clients. 
 
Standardization: Customs laws, regulations, administrative guidelines and procedures should, where appropriate, be harmonized with internationally agreed standards 

Simplification: Customs laws, regulations, administrative guidelines and procedures should be simplified to the extent possible so that Customs clearance can proceed without undue burden.  

Minimum Intervention: Customs administrations should apply sound risk management systems, and audit-based controls to identify high-risk activities, people, cargo and conveyances and limit the level of Customs intervention. 
 
Information & Communication Technology: Customs administrations should make maximum use of information and communication technology to facilitate the adoption of the principles outlined in the Revised Kyoto Convention. 
 
Cooperation & Partnership: Customs should strive to develop cooperative relationship with all stakeholders including government agencies, the private sector and other Customs administrations.  

Continuous Improvement: Customs should establish standards of performance and implement systems and procedures which strive to continually improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all business processes.
 
Compliance Improvement: Customs should work with clients to assist them to improve their level of voluntary compliance.
  
In addition, all Customs reform and modernization efforts should be focused on establishing or strengthening the management and administrative capacity of Customs administration.