G7 expert group in support of Customs contribution to security

02 marzo 2016

At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Tsukasa Kawada, Japan’s Ambassador in charge of International Cooperation for Countering Terrorism and International Organized Crime and Chair of the G7 Roma-Lyon Group, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya participated in the Group’s meeting held in Tokyo on 1 March 2016.

Speaking to the G7 Roma-Lyon Group made up of security experts, Secretary General Mikuriya explained Customs’ contribution to the fight against terrorism and organized crime and its role in the security context, referring to the Punta Cana Resolution adopted by the WCO Policy Commission in December 2015. 

He gave an account of the WCO's Security Programme and its related technical assistance and capacity building programme, encapsulated by the WCO Border Security Initiative.  The Security Programme covers (1) Passenger control, supported by the use of API/PNR; (2) Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), through Programme Global Shield that the United Nations General Assembly encouraged its Members to support in its Resolution of December 2015; (3) Strategic Trade control, through the successful Operation Cosmo resulting in the establishment of the Information and Intelligence Centre (I2C);
(4) Firearms and Light Weapons; and (5) Terrorist Financing, by combating illicit trade and money laundering (cash couriers and trade-based money laundering).

He also emphasized the importance of capacity building within the Compliance and Enforcement Package to enhance risk management capability, use of technology to improve networks, collaboration with other law enforcement agencies and business, as well as enforcement operations.  These initiatives were aimed at guaranteeing results by Customs activities to dismantle the illicit trade supply chain and terrorist funding sources.  Japan Customs’ representative gave a supplementary presentation on the usefulness of API/PNR and its positive outcomes, in order to encourage all G7 Members to support Customs’ access to this useful data.

The G7’s group of experts thanked the Secretary General for his compelling explanations and acknowledged Customs’ contribution to each component of the Security Programme.  It also underlined the importance of border control in fighting illicit trade, including wildlife crime (such as the INAMA Project) and cultural heritage trafficking, suspected of being emerging terrorist financing risks.

The G7 Roma-Lyon Group is tasked with reporting on and recommending the requisite anti-terrorism measures to the G7 Meeting of Heads of State/Government, to be held in Japan this May.