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Customs-Police cooperation with Europol

16 septiembre 2016

At the invitation of Europol and the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya attended the Europol meetings held at Europol Headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands, on 14 and 15 September 2016.

At the opening of the Europol Meeting of Directors General of Customs Administrations on 14 September, Europol Director Robert Wainwright welcomed delegates to this second edition of the meeting first held last year. 

In his opening address, Secretary General Mikuriya stressed the importance of Customs-Police cooperation which had featured among the major topics at the July 2016 WCO Council Sessions.  He explained Customs’ contribution to security through the SAFE Framework of Standards and the WCO Security Programme, referring to preparations for Operation Chimera addressing firearms smuggling using postal and express packages, and money laundering including cash smuggling. 

The meeting explored ways to enhance cooperation and information sharing between Customs and Police, drawing on recent operations and initiatives by some national Customs administrations and the European Commission.

Together with the President of the Slovak Financial Administration, Mr. Frantisek Imrecze, representing the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Secretary General Mikuriya had a bilateral meeting with Director Wainwright on strengthening future Customs-Police cooperation and reactivating the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the WCO and Europol in 2002.

On the following day, the plenary meeting of the Europol Police Chiefs Convention comprised three panels on Terrorism, Migration and Digital Transformation.  Secretary General Mikuriya contributed to the session on Terrorism, describing the WCO Security Programme and the need for information exchange between Customs and Police based on trust and leadership.  In his concluding remarks he encouraged Police Chiefs to share information with Customs, including the outcomes of criminal investigations, to recognize Customs’ role in deterring illicit trade and to improve on-the-ground cooperation. 

The Europol meeting was a positive step towards improved cooperation between the two organizations aimed at enhancing border security.

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Photos:

From left to right:

1. President of the Slovak Financial Administration Frantisek Imrecze, representing the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the European Union; Europol Director Robert Wainwright; WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya.

2. WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya during his opening address.