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WCO and US Transportation Security Administration discuss coordinated measures to strengthen air cargo security

24 March 2011

WCO and US Transportation Security Administration discuss coordinated measures to strengthen air cargo security

Brussels, 24 March 2011

Press Release

In a keynote speech to the Joint Session of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Enforcement Committee and Permanent Technical Committee, John Pistole, Administrator for the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) emphasized the cooperative approach the global Customs and Transport community can play in securing global economies from critical disruptions.

WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, and Administrator Pistole later engaged in a dialogue on how Customs and Transport authorities can work collaboratively in tangible ways to maximize air cargo security in the global supply chain.

Mr. Pistole stressed, “As an international community with shared values and mutual interests, it is vital that we act together to strengthen security measures throughout the world. I look forward to continuing to collaborate with the WCO in the global effort to prevent terrorists from using the international supply chain to take innocent lives and damage the world economy.”

His visit comes at a time when coordinated international efforts to ensure the security of air cargo and global aviation have been put to the test, following recent attempts to use air cargo as a delivery mechanism for terrorist explosive devices.

The WCO Secretary General and his counterpart at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Raymond Benjamin, met last week and agreed to expand cooperation between their organizations in tackling aviation and supply chain security threats.

Mr. Mikuriya said, “Customs has unique powers, a multi-faceted mandate, extensive information gathering capabilities, a physical presence at borders and interacts with industry on a day-to-day basis. These resources are essential in a global strategy to secure international air cargo.”

“Working closely with the WCO, we want to achieve the highest level of end-to-end cargo security, while preventing unnecessary delays in the movement of goods across international borders,” emphasized Mr. Benjamin.

Closer collaboration between the WCO and ICAO, along with efforts already underway within the international community and between national Customs and Transport agencies such as TSA is expected to significantly minimize the operational and financial impact of security measures by reducing or eliminating duplication in systems and processes, while enhancing synergies.