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WCO Backs Philippine Customs for WTO: See the Latest

The WCO Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme, supported by the United Kingdom’s His Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), carried out a Risk Management mission from February 13th to 17th, 2024, in The Philippines, concurrently with a donor/HMRC Monitoring & Evaluation mission. The aim was to assess recent advancements and reaffirm partnerships aimed at enhancing the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) capabilities to efficiently enforce the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

The Accelerate Trade Facilitation Programme has established a multi-year strategic alliance with the BOC, encompassing capacity building in TFA technical aspects such as Expedited Shipments, Time Release Study, Authorized Economic Operator, and Risk Management. Additionally, it supports overarching elements within Customs organizational development, such as Gender & Diversity, Competency-based Human Resource Management, Integrity, and Leadership & Management Development.

After evaluating progress across various collaborative areas, Mr. Lewis Cameron, HMRC Head of Multilateral Engagement and serving as the Senior Responsible Officer overseeing the WCO’s Accelerate Trade Facilitation Partnership, remarked, “I was greatly encouraged to witness close collaboration between BOC and WCO colleagues in pursuit of their shared goals. This firsthand observation underscores how our Programme, through needs-based partnerships, is delivering enduring and impactful outcomes rooted in trust and mutual respect.

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BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio expressed sincere appreciation to the WCO and the United Kingdom for their partnership. Emphasizing the significance of a comprehensive approach to Risk Management, Commissioner Rubio underscored its role as a key driver for revenue increase and trade facilitation.


The Risk Management mission aimed to build upon the 2020 joint fact-finding mission by the WCO and the World Bank, conducted under the Trade Facilitation in Middle-Income Countries program, which was also supported by the United Kingdom at that time. Meetings took place at the BOC’s headquarters in Manila, Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and the Port of Cebu. 


WCO experts from The Netherlands and Thailand evaluated the implemented reforms and identified opportunities for further improvement to strategically integrate Risk Management comprehensively throughout the BOC. Additionally, the WCO team focused on aligning the WCO Risk Management approach and standards with the BOC’s strategy and priorities.

   Editor: Rod Villanueva

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