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Stefan Aniszewski at Finnish Customs elected as facilitator for the Customs Work Organization Forum (CWOF)

Publication date 13.1.2023 14.14
Press release

A new Customs Work Organization Forum (CWOF) was established at the World Customs Organization (WCO) in December 2022. As its first facilitator, the forum elected Stefan Aniszewski, Director of Human Resources at Finnish Customs. In his role as facilitator, Aniszewski wants to enable the sharing of best practices that have emerged in different countries so they can be accessed by the whole international customs community.

The first hybrid meeting of CWOF, Stefan Aniszewski in the background and WCO's personnel in the foreground.

The first hybrid meeting of CWOF. Stefan Aniszewski in the background. In the foreground WCO's Mohamed El Hail (left), Taeil Kang ja Ebenezer Gebding Tafili. Photo: WCO

The global COVID-19 pandemic and the changing operating environment pose challenges to the operations of customs administrations, the resilience of customs personnel and the development of customs work. The WCO’s new Customs Work Organization Forum (CWOF) was established to enable the customs administrations to share their best practices and work together to develop their operations. 

The first meeting of the CWOF was held virtually on 13 December 2022. In that meeting, Stefan Aniszewski, Director of Human Resources at Finnish Customs, was elected as facilitator of the forum. The role as facilitator, that is, as a kind of chairperson of the forum, is for a one-year term. 

“It’s great to be able to work closely with this important set of objectives, and I am very grateful to the WCO member states for this opportunity to facilitate the work of the forum,” Stefan Aniszewski says.

The forum provides a platform for discussion and for sharing best practices

The first meeting of the CWOF attracted 700 participants from 169 countries around the world. In attendance were a wide range of participants: Directors General, Commissioners, Human Capital Management professionals and Customs specialists. There were also many representatives from the private sector and academia.

The speakers in the December meeting gave advice on matters such as instilling a new work culture, making use of technology, and leadership. These will continue to be central themes for the forum in the future. One particular aim is to support the transition of the customs administrations towards sustainable working models and to improve performance, resilience to crises and wellbeing at work.

“The members of the WCO encounter very similar challenges when it comes to navigating the post-pandemic landscape and planning the future practices of customs work. In recent years, new working models have been adopted at an accelerated pace. The forum offers an excellent opportunity to discuss the changes and to share tips on the lessons learned, the challenges and best practices,” Stefan Aniszewski says.

“I believe that the support the forum offers the member states both in establishing and implementing new working models for the new normal is extremely valuable and important.”

More information on the first meeting of the CWOF is available in the WCO’s news release.

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