Awareness and Sensitization on Customs Role in Enforcing Multilateral Environment Agreements for Botswana Unified Revenue Service

02 December 2021

The World Customs Organization (WCO) in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (Ozone Action) and the Basel Convention Secretariat has conducted a three-day virtual Workshop for the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) from 22nd to 24th November 2021 to raise awareness on the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol and sensitize the Customs officers on the control of transboundary movement of hazardous waste and substances that deplete the ozone layer. The workshop was held under the auspices of the Sida–WCO Trade Facilitation and Customs Modernization (TFCM) Programme for Sustainable Development in Sub–Saharan Africa with funding from the Government of Sweden and officially opened by Mr. Pranab Kumar DAS, WCO Director for Compliance and Facilitation.

In his opening remarks the Director emphasized that Customs administrations contribute to the fight against climate change and to ensuring greater sustainability by supporting effective implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) such as the Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol. To that end, in cooperation with the secretariats of the MEAs and various other international organizations, the WCO provides assistance in raising the awareness of the MEAs and building the capacity of Customs to enforce the legislation on trade in environmentally sensitive goods.

In that regard, seventeen (17) participants from the BURS, Botswana Department of Waste Management and Pollution Control (DWMPC), the Department of Meteorological Services (DMS) and international organizations conducted interactive discussions and presentations on addressing the critical areas and issues that affect Customs and Environment agencies to efficiently implement controls for the transboundary movement of hazardous waste and ozone depleting substances regulated by the two agreements. The three-day workshop has raised the level of awareness of BURS Customs officials on the policies, trends and enforcement controls related to the Basel Convention and Montreal Protocol, and also fostered the commitments between BURS and the Botswana national agencies for environment to collaborate better at the borders.

Based on continued technical collaboration with the WCO Environment Programme, UNEP–Ozone Action and the Basel Convention Secretariat the Sida-WCO TFCM Programme will be providing further technical assistance to Botswana in identified areas of needs in the wider context multi-year programme support to implement the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.  Similar activities are planned by the Programme for other beneficiary countries.

For more information on the Sida-WCO TFCM Programme, please, contact: