February 24, 2015—On February 19, Secretary General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, attended the opening of a regional customs training center in Amman and met the Director General of Jordan Customs to explore future cooperation.
The new center, which will accredited by the WCO, will train customs employees in Jordan and the region in best practices in customs and trade facilitation.
“A well trained workforce is crucial to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of Jordan Customs,” said Director General of Jordan Customs, Munther Al Assaf, during the opening ceremony. “Our employees have to be armed with the appropriate tools to achieve our mission of facilitating trade, combating smuggling and protecting our society as well as contributing to promoting an enabling business and investment climate in Jordan.”
Jordan Customs has completely refurbished its training center to meet WCO accreditation criteria. Refurbishment began in 2011 when USAID’s Jordan Fiscal Reform Project (FRP II) identified what needed to upgraded in order to meet those criteria. The project also supported renovation of training halls and the installation of equipment essential to modernizing processes and instituting trade facilitation programs.
“We are proud to be supporting Jordan Customs in upgrading the training center to serve not only Jordan but the region,” said Ammar Jarrar, who leads FRP II. “Jordan Customs have made significant strides in recent years in streamlining their processes for more efficient cross border trade.”
Secretary General Mikuriya praised Jordan’s progress in modernizing customs and its investment in "a new generation" through training and capacity building. He also praised USAID’s support of customs administration in Jordan and many other countries, saying “The WCO works in partnership with USAID worldwide. We believe their supporting role in instilling global standards into customs processes helps Jordan integrate into the global economy."
Jordan Customs has adopted a number of international programs with the support of the Jordan Fiscal Reform Project. Those programs have helped raise Jordan’s position in international rankings of trade performance. Since 2011, for example, Jordan has gone from 77th to 54th position for “trade across borders” in the World Bank’s Doing Business report.
Jordan FRP II is managed by DNG, a joint venture of Nathan Associates Inc. and DAI.