As information and intelligence exchange is one of the pillars of the WCO’s enforcement strategy, the Organization has set up a global network of Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs).
The RILO is a regional centre for collecting, analysing and supplementing data as well as disseminating information on trends, modus operandi, routes and significant cases of fraud.
The RILO mechanism is supported by the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN), a global data and information-gathering, analysis and communication system for intelligence purposes.
The aim of this mechanism is to enhance the effectiveness of global information and intelligence exchange as well as co-operation between all the Customs services tasked with combating transnational crime.
The RILO network currently comprises 11 Liaison Offices covering the WCO’s six regions.
This mechanism is split into three levels which operate interactively and in a complementary manner, namely :
at national level, the Member administrations’ National Contact Points (NCPs) gather information on seizures made from existing sources at national level, electronically input data into the CEN or transmit the said data to RILOs by fax or post, analyse the information collected at national level to ascertain new trends, produce Alerts and transmit them to the RILOs for regional circulation, and co-operate nationally with the full gamut of enforcement agencies or services;
at regional level, the RILOs study and evaluate international seizures, verify the accuracy of the CEN data supplied by the NCPs, prepare and circulate Alerts and intelligence profiles, issue periodicals or ad hoc analysis bulletins, devise, organize and support regional intelligence-based operations, facilitate mutual assistance and co-operation with other enforcement services and provide technical or other assistance to NCPs,
at international level, the WCO Secretariat is responsible for the central management of the CEN by using, operating and maintaining the system as a global information and intelligence tool for the RILO network, periodically conducts global strategic and tactical analyses based on information available in the CEN, circulates a summary of its analyses in its annual reports, offers training and technical assistance to the RILOs and their Members, and shares strategic information with other international organizations engaged in combating organized crime.