World Customs Organization

The AIIC-WCO Agreement covers all interpreters working at the WCO.

─── Who we are

The agreement

Having used interpreters since its creation in 1952, the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) – better known as the World Customs Organisation – signed an agreement with AIIC in 1983. Though initially subsumed under the Coordinated Organisations Agreement, the AIIC-WCO Sector has since become autonomous. Its latest agreement was signed on 31 March 2017 for an indefinite duration. A first!

Organisations covered

The AIIC-WCO Agreement applies to all interpreters working at the World Customs Organisation – both at its Brussels headquarters and external offices and operations.

─── How we work

The Delegation is responsible for monitoring the implementation of the 2017 AIIC-WCO Agreement governing the conditions of employment of freelance conference interpreters. This includes any formal consultation, interpretation, review, etc. in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. The Delegation is also charged with communication between the WCO administration and the Sector, reporting regularly to the AIIC Executive Committee as well as to sector members.

About the World Customs Organisation sector

Globalisation in practice

Today, 183 Customs administrations across the globe are represented in the WCO. They process an impressive 98% of world trade.

AIIC’s smallest sector is expanding

The WCO’s official working languages have always been English and French but, due to an increase in global trade and new geopolitical strategies, some meetings now also take place in Arabic, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. The Sector currently employs 2 staff and approximately 60 freelance interpreters, essentially Brussels-based. Until 2015, the Sector only involved some 25-30 freelance interpreters and totalled 350 freelance days a year. It reached a total of 1,000 freelance days in 2019, with some 60 freelancers recruited.

Family and friends

Together with the UN, EU, Coordinated Organisations and GUFs, the WCO belongs to a group of international organisations named the " agreement sectors". What this means is that AIIC negotiates pay and conditions for freelance interpreters working with these organisations – literally thousands of interpreters!

Group contact form

Contact the Negotiating Delegation:

─── More about us



─── The AIIC-WCO Agreement governing the conditions of employment of freelance conference interpreters signed on 31 March 2017 for an indefinite duration + annexes (in English only).