WCO enhances frontline expertise on passenger controls in Samoa

18 October 2023

In response to a request from the Samoan Customs, the World Customs Organization (WCO) conducted its first week-long training session on passenger controls in Apia, Samoa. This initiative, supported by the CCF-India and the Australian Border Force (ABF), aimed to empower frontline staff with essential skills and knowledge pertaining to passenger controls in the air domain.

From 2 to 6 October, 2023, a total of 21 frontline staff, including 17 Customs officers, 2 Quarantine officers, and 2 Immigration officers, actively participated in the training. The comprehensive programme focused on a range of critical areas, including risk assessment, profiling techniques, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, and document assessment. Through interactive sessions such as exercises and case studies, participants had an opportunity to translate the theoretical knowledge into practice.

Participants were also briefed on the latest developments in the field of counter-terrorism and on cutting-edge tools and instruments, including data collection and analysis. A particular emphasis was made on integration of API/PNR into the risk assessment cycle.

During the opening ceremony, Chief Executive Officer/Comptroller of Samoan Customs and Revenue Fonoti Talaitupu Li’a-Taefu underscored the significance of the training initiative and its expected impact on Samoan airport operations.

At the conclusion of the training, a series of recommendations were presented to the Samoan Customs management, outlining further areas for potential training and development. The WCO expressed its commitment to continue providing technical support in the domain of passenger controls to Samoan Customs and other Members.