bulavinvi_eng Vladimir Ivanovich Bulavin
 Head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation
St. Petersburg hosts the 8th International Conference PICARD

On September 18, the 8th International Conference PICARD under the auspices of the World Customs Organization (WCO) was opened in St. Petersburg. It was organized by the Institute of International Business and Law of St. Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics (IIBL of NRU of ITMO), with the participation of the Federal Customs Service (the FCS of Russia) and supported by the International Network of Customs Universities.

The PICARD program of the World Customs Organization launched in 2006. Its main aim is to strengthen cooperation between the WCO, universities and customs structures dealing with personnel training in two main areas: conducting researches related to the work of customs authorities, and upgrading professional skills of customs officers.

The PICARD Conference was held in Russia for the first time and, according to the organizers, attracted a record number of participants in St. Petersburg: 290 delegates from 75 countries, including the representatives of customs agencies, business associations, educational institutions in Europe, Asia, Africa, Middle East, North and South America, Australia, Russia.

While opening the 8the International Conference, the Secretary General of the WCT, Kunio Mikuriya said that one of the key objectives of the World Customs Organization is to develop evidence-based measures to improve global economic processes and trade. The WTO offers standards of cooperation between customs agencies, business and scientific, research organizations, educational institutions and implements regional integration initiatives. All these steps are taken in order to improve efficiency of the customs service.

The Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service (the FCS of Russia), Sergei Komlichenko, welcomed the participants of the International Conference.

In his speech, Sergei Komlichenko emphasized the importance of closer cooperation between the FCS of Russia and foreign customs services, as well as the international scientific community on the convergence of approaches in the field of customs legislation, preparation of scientific advice in order to improve control over customs clearance. The PICARD program of the World Customs Organization, according to the FCS of Russia, helps to propel customs science to a higher worldwide level.

The program of the 8th International Conference provides the discussion of issues concerning the impact of development, implementation and administration of regional integration initiatives on the activity of customs authorities; the discussion of the package of economic competitiveness developed within the PICARD, the upgrading of professional skills of the customs officers and the practical application of the strategic document PICARD 2020.

During three days - from 18 to 20 of September – the participants have the opportunity to get acquainted with the results of researches carried out by the representatives of some Russian and foreign universities, business schools and customs authorities. The conference includes the round table discussions of the reports on the issues of successful interaction between customs authorities and business partners, the customs administration of the customs unions, the legal aspects of regional integration, the coordinated management at the border, the upgrading of professional skills of the customs officers. Following the results of the discussions, the WCO will develop recommendations within the PICARD program, which will be offered for implementation by administrations of the customs authorities of the world.