National Contact Points of WCO RILO ECE meet to discuss collaboration and intelligence-sharing

09 October 2023

On 5 and 6 October 2023, the World Customs Organization (WCO) Secretariat hosted the 26th Administrative Meeting for National Contact Points (NCPs) of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Eastern and Central Europe (RILO ECE) at WCO Headquarters in Brussels.

The event saw the active participation of delegates representing ten WCO Member administrations, namely Albania, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, and Serbia.

The Meeting featured insightful presentations by WCO Programme Managers, covering a broad spectrum of topics including security, drug enforcement, environmental concerns, intellectual property rights, and revenue programmes. These presentations were supplemented by some regional insights shared by participants.

NCPs’ active support in supplying the Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) database with qualitative, accurate and timely information was also a central theme of the discussions. Indeed, this is a prerequisite for enabling the CEN to be used to its fullest extent by the authorities in order to connect the dots, identify trends and take all the necessary proactive measures against illicit activities.

Collaboration and intelligence-sharing are at the heart of NCPs’ role and activities, which in turn fully support the WCO's mission and pivotal task in promoting the facilitation of international trade, while ensuring the security of global supply chains. NCPs play a crucial part in WCO intelligence-gathering efforts; they contribute to combatting illicit trade by ensuring that high-quality and accurate information is shared in a timely manner between Customs authorities.

During the Meeting, NCPs’ active participation in operational activities and close collaboration with the WCO were identified as key factors leading to the success of WCO Customs enforcement activities and the collective security of the RILO ECE region. In this regard, delegates also highlighted the importance of maintaining high standards when producing alerts using the CENcomm platform.

In his closing remarks, the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, expressed his heartfelt appreciation to all the delegates for their dedication and active engagement in the Meeting. He went on to stress the critical role played by the RILOs in identifying risks, new trends and vulnerabilities of supply chains, as well as NCPs’ invaluable contribution in this respect.