Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILO)

The exchange of intelligence at national, regional and international levels is a critical mechanism employed by Customs authorities to create conditions for more efficient enforcement actions and controls, and to secure the optimum use of available resources. At the strategic level, the WCO has incorporated the aim of intelligence exchange among all stakeholders, recognizing the contribution this objective has in furthering the protection of society, public health and safety. Therefore, in 1987, the first Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) was established with the intention of creating a Global Intelligence Network. Today the RILO network has grown to 12 offices, providing effective coverage throughout all six WCO regions.

The unique nature of the RILO network offers an added layer of information exchange to the already existing intelligence exchange taking place between the Secretariat and Member administrations at the strategic level. Each of the 12 RILO offices covers a number of WCO Member States, and responds to their intelligence needs at the regional level.

In addition to responding to intelligence-related requests, the RILO network supports its WCO Member administrations by providing them with operational support, designing and implementing target-oriented intelligence analysis projects and regional intelligence-led operations, facilitating mutual administrative assistance, and promoting and maintaining regional co-operation with other law enforcement agencies and organizations. The RILO network reports to the WCO Enforcement Committee.

Among the WCO tools used by the RILO network are the WCO Customs Enforcement Network (CEN), which is a global database containing Customs seizures information, and the CENcomm, a web-based communication system allowing a closed user group to exchange messages for the duration of an operation or project. The RILO network often uses the CEN database to analyse seizures and develop regional intelligence products, while the CENcomm platform serves to exchange operational information and facilitate real-time secure communications among Members and partners.