The South African Revenue Service (SARS) says Erich Kieck, its Group Executive: Customs Strategy and Policy, has been elected to head capacity building at the World Customs Organisation (WCO).
“Mr Kieck was elected as Director: Capacity Building at the WCO’s annual Council meeting held in Brussels, Belgium, with an overwhelming majority of 80%, receiving 129 of the 176 votes available from WCO member states,” SARS says in a statement. Chief Officer Customs and Border Management at SARS, Gene Ravele, says the election of Kieck “to this important position at the WCO … once again signifies the role that SARS continues to play in enhancing customs capabilities at a global level.
“It builds on the contribution that South Africa has been making through its Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan to the global customs community such as the creation of the capacity building directorate, the launching of the biggest capacity building efforts in the WCO history and the adoption of new global customs standards. All these were achieved during Minister Gordhan’s chairmanship of the WCO Council in the period 2001-2006.”
Kieck’s election shows that SARS customs shares a vision of enhancing customs capacity at all levels. “At home this will be achieved through our Customs Modernisation Programme, at a bilateral level through the cooperation agreements we have with other countries such as those signed with Customs administrations of Lesotho and Mauritius at the same Council sessions, at a regional level through participation in SACU and SADC customs project and at global level through the WCO,” SARS adds in its statement.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Erich and the campaign team on this magnificent achievement and wish him all the best in his new position. I have no doubt that he will take customs capacity building to the next level and help countries around the world fulfil their mandate,” adds Ravele. Erich will start his 5-year term in Brussels on January 1 and will be replacing the current director, Lars Karlsson from Sweden.