New COPES training delivered for the first time in central Europe

31 May 2018

As part of the COPES Programme, a training course organized in partnership with the United States Department of State’s EXBS (Export Control and Related Border Security) Program was run between 16 and 20 April 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. The event brought together Customs officers, police officers and prosecutors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia.

The countries have all undertaken to make changes to their security and enforcement units in order to improve overall performance and further develop follow-up investigations. They were therefore interested in training a number of managers and officers in the latest evidence and seizure collection techniques. The new COPES training programme that was delivered covers the broad spectrum of Customs enforcement activities, from the initial report right through to conviction, not forgetting evidence and seizure collection methods. 

The training session enabled the first regional COPES trainer for the Europe region to gain official accreditation, representing the culmination of the process that began last March at the WCO Secretariat. Following a train-the-trainer event, 8 Customs officials from Germany, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Kosovo were pre-accredited. They will play a vital role in promoting best practice based on members’ experiences and advocated by the COPES Programme.  

For further information on the COPES Programme, please get in touch with Mr Gilles Thomas (