The role of the Regional Office for Capacity  Building

The main roles and responsibilities of the ROCB is to promote and support the implementation of the objectives of the WCO at a regional level.  In carrying out its role, under the supervision and guidance of the Secretariat (represented by the regional contact point), the Regional Vice-Chair and the respective Directors General, the ROCB has the following responsibilities :

  1. To co-ordinate Customs capacity building activities in the region.
  2. To develop staff within the region to be able to support Members with organizational development.
  3. To support the implementation of international standards for Customs and trade according to the SAFE Framework of Standards and to provide support for the development of the Revised Kyoto Convention.
  4. To establish projects in individual Members of economic regions which implement the identified Columbus Programme objectives.
  5. To co-ordinate the activities of the Regional Training Centres.
  6. To develop, promote and maintain partnership with key regional stakeholders.
  7. To identify and co-ordinate the needs of the region.
  8. To report quarterly the work of the ROCB to the Capacity Building Directorate and the Regional Vice-Chair.
  9. To identify policy gaps to the Secretariat.
  10. To represent the WCO at appropriate regional fora.
  11. To promote and, where appropriate, manage Secretariat activities in the region.
  12. To translate key Secretariat documents into regionally common languages.
In partnership with the Secretariat and the Vice-Chair, the ROCB will develop and maintain an overview of the Customs organizations it serves, estimate the development requirement for each Member, and develop a regional strategy supported by mission statement, vision, and goals covering a period of three to five years.

To determine the specific activities, the ROCB will develop, manage,     implement and monitor an annual operational plan.  This plan will cover:
    • Specific project activities.
    • Seminar activity.
    • Liaison with the regional Members through surveys, diagnostic missions and evaluation activities.
    • Liaison with the Capacity Building Directorate of the WCO.
    • Development of appropriate databases based on the WORLDCAP programme.
    • Liaison with other regional structures representing stakeholders and donors.
    • Promotion and support for bilateral or multilateral benchmarking of Customs administrations.
    • Attendance at appropriate regional meetings.
    • Attendance at relevant meetings at the Secretariat.
    The major operational activity of the ROCB is to give strategic guidance and support to the senior management of Customs in the region in their reform and modernization programmes and the implementation of WCO conventions, frameworks, standards, best practices and guidelines through encouraging change, and initiating pilot and longer-term development activities.  Here the ROCB will need to :

    • Develop, manage and monitor a pool of experts in organizational development and technical Customs matters.
    • Organize and manage high-level seminars for senior managers, which explain new initiatives and their implications.
    • Provide action planning and monitoring support for Columbus Phase 2 actions based on the needs identified at the diagnostic stage.
    • Identify common issues amongst the Members in the implementation of new initiatives and provide seminars, workshops, or direct consultancy to address them.
    • Seek opportunities to establish development projects, with the support of the Secretariat, evaluate lessons learnt and distribute advice to Members.
    • Evaluate the developmental progress of the Members at regular intervals, to both confirm progress and identify further development requirements.
    • Liaise with the Secretariat to propose and prioritize technical external assistance to Members.
    There are many regional structures and donor organizations which have an interest in the development of Customs and of border management in general.  These represent the interests of common economic zones, economic operators, other border management agencies and aid agencies.  The role of the ROCB is to :

    • Identify key regional organizations and establish a regular communication with them.
    • Identify developmental projects of interest to regional stakeholders.
    • Attend appropriate regional fora and promote the WCO agenda.
    • Organize donor conferences.
    • Identify support capital for infrastructure development projects.