Event Details
September 14 - September 16, 2011
United Nations
Conference Room XIX
Palais des Nations, Building E ("New Building"/"nouveau bâtiment")
The conference starts on Wednesday at 2:30 pm and finishes on Friday at 12:30 pm. Please arrive at the UN gate by 1 pm on Wednesday.
Event Description

The 6th annual PICARD (Partnership In Customs Academic Research and Development) Conference will take place September 14 - 16, 2011 at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. A key aim of the annual PICARD Conferences, held since 2006, is to promote high level exchanges on Customs education and professionalism and to encourage more academic research into topics relevant to Customs. 

Sessions at PICARD2011 conference will include vigorous discussions on national and international challenges relating to Co-ordinated Border Management (CBM), performance measurement, best practices in economic recovery and poverty reduction, etc.

Cross-border Research Association, CBRA, is organizing the conference jointly with the World Customs Organization, WCO, the International Network of Customs Universities, INCU and The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE. Key players include: State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO; Federal Customs Administration, Switzerland; The International Network of Customs Universities, HEC University of Lausanne; EPFL Chair MIR; and Cotecna Inspection.

The conference registrations are open June 1 - August 31, 2011. Please note that in order to be allowed entry to the UN premises, participants must register in advance at the United Nations in addition to the PICARD 2011 conference registration. The UN registration form can be obtained here: English version or French version. The form should be sent by email directly to the UNECE secretariat (Dominique.Leger (at) unece.org) at least 7 days before the conference and bring a paper copy with you to Geneva. For more instructions, CLICK HERE. 
Participant Profile – Who Should Attend?

Participation is open to all interested parties. Participants expected to attend include:  

  • Senior Customs executives responsible for human resource development, integrity, and Customs reform, modernization and other policy issues;
  • Universities and research institutions with an interest in trade or Customs-related research and education;
  • Trade executives and service providers;
  •  Representatives of international organizations.

For more information, please contact Cross-border Research Association,
email picard2011 (at) cross-border.org
telephone +41 22 548 19 56


The WCO PICARD programme was launched in 2006 to provide a framework for cooperation between Customs and the academic world. In parallel, through PICARD, academic institutions have created the INCU and a rich vein of research in the field of Customs, generated through its flagship publication - the World Customs Journal. Working together, the WCO and INCU have progressed a range of initiatives in the areas of educational programmes, strategic management development, professional standards, and academic research and development.

In relation to standards, the WCO in partnership with the INCU has developed a set of Professional Standards necessary for operational and strategic Customs managers to meet the requirements of the new strategic environment.  In addition, the WCO has established a process of assessing university curricula against the Standards. 

This year’s conference will build on the success of the previous conferences (Brussels 2006 and 2007, Shanghai 2008, Costa Rica 2009, Abu Dhabi 2010) and will provide participants with an opportunity to interact with their government, commercial and academic counterparts from around the world.
The WCO, in partnership with the INCU and others, aims to
  • encourage Academic Institutions and Customs Administrations to increase their co-operation in the field of Customs education and research in order to raise the academic standing of the Customs profession
  • support initiatives related to this collaboration by promoting the development of Customs-specific educational products and research activities, including the identification of research funding opportunities.