WCO hosted the RANDA Hybrid Launch Meeting with participating WCO Member Customs administrations

02 June 2023

On 1 June 2023, the World Customs Organization (WCO) hosted the RANDA Hybrid Launch Meeting with participating WCO Member Customs administrations to raise awareness of Customs capacity to address the proliferation of radiological and nuclear materials.

The hybrid meeting was chaired by Mr. Olo Sib Pale, the Customs Attaché from Côte d'Ivoire at the WCO, and was hosted at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels with the senior officials from 71 Customs administrations across the WCO's six regions and international organizations, including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), INTERPOL, the United Nations Office of Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), the European Commission and the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

The security-focused capacity building Project is a partnership between the WCO and the US Department of Energy (DoE), NNSA (National Nuclear Security Administration) and in collaboration with the IAEA that will assist the Member administrations to strengthen their capacity to deal with radiological and nuclear security threats.

The meeting was opened by the WCO Director of Compliance and Facilitation, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das. In his opening remarks Mr. Das noted that the world has been impacted severely by terrorism and insecurity in recent years and observed that Customs administrations play a vital role in countering national and international nuclear terrorism activity and in meeting their countries obligations under the Punta Cana resolution. He also thanked Members for their interest in this new Project and their active participation in the event and thanked the donor for their financial support. Furthermore, he acknowledged the important role played by the partner organizations in the prevention and detection of radiological and nuclear materials and therefore in the success of this project.

The RANDA Project is the newest addition to the list of training available for members under the WCO Security Programme. it is focused on supporting Customs administrations currently undertaking or planning to undertake radiation screening activities by providing awareness trainings on the threats associated with the smuggling of radiological and nuclear material, the material concern, and the way they may be trafficked. The Project will deliver national and regional training and work closely with stakeholders in the US Department of Energy and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) in delivering Project goals.

In the last twenty years many Customs administrations have included the screening for radiological and nuclear materials at import and export. The awareness training delivered through the training is designed to complement the equipment training provided to frontline Customs staff, by providing an overall context addressing the trafficking and illegal diversion of radiological and nuclear materials.  In addition, training will be provided in relation to radiation safety and the transportation regimes for radioactive goods.

The WCO Security Programme currently has six Programme areas and one regionally focused Security project in West Africa. The Security Programme is focused on supporting members to implement the security mandate of Customs, and the objectives of the Punta Cana Resolution. The Programme is part of the WCO’s Enforcement and Compliance Sub-Directorate which focuses on assisting WCO Members in implementing their Enforcement and Security mandates, through the provision of guidance and through training, awareness raising and capacity building activities.

For more information on the RANDA Project and the Security Programme, please contact WCOSecurityProgramme@wcoomd.org