The World Customs Organization has approved the renewed international standards for the customs profession, prepared with the participation of the International Business and Customs Institute (SESMI) of the Faculty of Engineering Economics and Management of Riga Technical University (RTU). The World Customs Organization (WCO) has expressed gratitude for the renewal of standards.
The Standards were approved at the WCO Capacity Building Committee session in Brussels which was held from 8 to 10 April. The new improved regulations for the recognition of higher education institutions’ study programs as compliant with the WCO standards and for issuing the corresponding certificate of compliance from the WCO were also approved.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the European Commission, RTU Honorary Doctor, opened the annual Capacity Building Committee session in Brussels. He emphasized the rapid changes currently taking place in the customs administrations worldwide, the increasing complexity of customs work, which is affected by cross-border e-commerce and rapid technological development. The Institute also participates in the European Commission’s Board for the recognition of bachelor and master level customs programs in the European Union. While participating in the BOMCA-9 International Border Management Project, which is financed by the European Commission, SESMI is engaged in developing customs education in five Central Asian countries. With the involvement of SESMI experts, the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University has revised the Customs Program according to the requirements of the WCO. The higher education institution of Kazakhstan received a WCO accreditation certificate a few days ago.
SESMI Director Aivars Vilnis Krastiņš emphasizes the important role of the Institute in the development of customs education at international level: «We are involved in the development of the rules of the game for customs all over the world».
RTU is the only institution in Latvia with an internationally accredited study program «Customs and Tax Administration», where students can obtain higher education in the field of customs and taxation. The unique study program was developed in cooperation with the WCO and the tax and customs authorities of the State Revenue Service (SRS) of Latvia. It is the first globally recognized Customs and Tax Administration program that has received a WCO certificate for compliance with these standards.
This year, customs education in Latvia has the 25the anniversary. The International Business and Customs Institute of the Faculty of Economic Engineering and Management of RTU has been training customs officers since 1994 and tax specialists since 2004. The Latvian Customs Administration, in turn, celebrates its centenary this year.