Online training support of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

25 May 2020

Since the beginning of this challenging period with travel bans and quarantine measures, the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) was seeking to continue its support to and the cooperation with the Port and Airport Control Units in the 51 participating countries across the globe. Several options were tested to continue the scheduled training activities.

As a first step, an assessment of the situation in all operational countries was made to identify the impact by the COVID-19 lockdown for staff, to verify the percentage of officers working from home, to ensure that social distancing measures are in place and to check the internet possibilities in the respective countries. Based on the feedback provided, a number of pilot countries were identified to pioneer the CCP online training.

The first CCP online training was initiated with Bolivia, supported by the UNODC-CCP National Coordinator in Bolivia. The following activities with Colombia and Viet Nam also drew on the assistance of the UNODC-CCP National Coordinators. The first online pilots of the CCP received excellent support from the General Directorate of Viet Nam Customs, Fiji Revenue and Customs Service, Cambodia Customs, and Bolivia Customs, Police and National Service for the Intellectual Property (SENAPI), as well as from Colombia and Afghanistan.

Based on the encouraging experiences gained from these initial online activities, it can be summarized as: “Let’s do it!” The online training even allowed to provide first-hand information about the drug trafficking situation in other continents to the participants in other continents – an extremely informative exercise which would be very costly and cumbersome via the physical presence of regional training experts. The CCP will therefore continue to support all countries currently participating in the programme and – for the time being – reach out via online channels to new countries joining the CCP.

At the moment, 150 CCP online training activities for Port and Airport Control Units are scheduled for 2020. Certainly, such virtual training cannot fully replace face-to-face training delivery by the CCP training experts, but will be an additional option for the future to intensify cooperation and collaboration with the countries partnering with the programme.

For more information about the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme, please see the latest Annual Report or contact the WCO Compliance and Facilitation Directorate.