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World Customs Organization emblem


The world is going global today. Anyone who wants to do business internationally faces the necessity of customs clearance of goods at the border.  To avoid any problem connected with the clearance process you should know rules and regulations implemented internationally. 


This activity is aimed at improving your listening and speaking skills. It helps you to learn vocabulary and practise it in the sentences.

Activity 1: Preview

The World Customs Organization was established as an international body whose mission is to secure and facilitate legitimate trade, to realize revenues, to protect society from smuggled goods. Now let`s see how well you know its history and structure.


Do the quiz. Choose the correct answer and see Feedback.

1. When was the organization established?

2. What city is the headquarters building of the WCO located in?

3. What is the WCO`s governing body?

4. How many members does the organization have?

5. What instruments to regulate the customs matters does the WCO offer?

Additional Resources

For more information about the WCO  see


Shipping documents are the key to international trade, and have been used for thousands of years. Documents outline the sale, shipment, and responsibilities of each party so that the full transaction is understood and completed without delay or additional costs. Documents also ensure compliance with applicable customs regulations.


Study the definitions and match them with the right document

A shipping document used by customs personnel reviewing a particular transport vehicle's intended trip that summarizes all bills of lading that have been issued by the carrier or its representative for that particular shipment. 

A document issued by a carrier, or its agent, to the shipper as a contract of carriage of goods. It is also a receipt for cargo accepted for transportation, and must be presented for taking delivery at the destination.

List of securities being monitored particularly closely by a customs broker or exchange to spot irregularities which might be caused by rule violations

Additional Resources

Consult online Business Dictionary for definitions of the foreign trade documents

Activity 3: Innovative Cargo Target System. "Made by customs for customs"

WCO cargo targeting system is a cargo manifest risk assessment system which is developed to facilitate trade and implement WCO`s SAFE framework of Standards and Kyoto Convention.


Watch the video (click on the hyperlink) and decide whether the statements are true or false

WCO CTS (click here)

1. CTS is used to deliver  pre-arrival and pre-departure risk assessment solutions.

2. You should submit paper documents for the risk assessment solution.

3. The system makes it possible for officers to use it in the field on tablets and smartphones.

Customs in every country which is a member of WCO has its own unique version of the system.

The WCO is not responsible for helping customs officers, customs brokers who want to apply the system.

© Liudmila Delyagina/ Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod /2014

Created using the LOC Tool, University of Southampton