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East African Customs will work together to enhance border control through PGS

22 mayo 2018

Under the auspices of the WCO/JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) Joint Project, to support trade facilitation and border control in Africa, a Sub- Regional Awareness Raising Seminar on Programme Global Shield (PGS) in East Africa was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 15 to 17 May 2018.  This is the first activity of the enhanced border control component of the new Trade Facilitation and Border Control project launched by the 5 Revenue Authorities in East Africa.

Programme Global Shield is a multilateral WCO initiative, which aims at building the capacity of customs administrations to counter the illicit trafficking and diversion of chemicals and other components used by terrorists to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Seminar aimed at raising awareness amongst East African Customs of the threat posed by IEDs and demonstrating ways how customs can contribute to mitigating the threat. It also provided a platform for participants from East Africa to share their experiences, exchange and discuss best practices.

Twenty (20) Customs officials from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda in addition to five (5) observers from Kenya Revenue Authority participated in this seminar. Each Customs administration shared its country presentation that included their efforts in strengthening customs control at the borders, the level of cooperation between Customs and other law enforcement agencies, and how they deal with explosive precursor chemicals and other components used to manufacture IEDs.

During the seminar, the WCO experts provided updates on the WCO Security Project's initiatives and shared information about Customs role in border security, technology deployment, and operational activities. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization’s briefing set the scene in relation to the global harm and regional perspective of IED use; while Japan Customs expert explained how advanced technologies can help Customs to efficiently identify chemicals.

The seminar was successful and rich in its content and resulted in a roadmap document outlining future activities to be undertaken under this joint WCO/JICA project.