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Seminar on the Sharing of Maritime and River Information to combat illicit trade

16 septiembre 2012

Seminar on the Sharing of Maritime and River Information to combat illicit trade

Senegal, 16-17 September 2012



At the invitation of Director General Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse of Senegal Customs, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya of the WCO visited Dakar, Senegal on 16 and 17 September 2012 to participate in a seminar for Directors General of Customs in West Africa on the sharing of maritime and river information to combat illicit trade, organized by Senegal Customs with financial and logistical support from France.

In his opening speech the Minister of Economy and Finance Amadou Kane underlined Customs’ mission regarding the saving of future generations by protecting people from illicit trade. Secretary General Mikuriya stated that to fight against the trafficking of illicit drugs and their precursors in a global, sustainable and efficient manner is indispensable to Customs’ work and should be done in a coordinated and complementary fashion with all concerned agencies.

Participants learned about similar initiatives in other regions, including the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) and several European initiatives, such as the Maritime Analysis Operations Centre–Narcotics (MAOC-N) and the Anti-Drug Coordination Centre for the Mediterranean (CECLAD-M).They were also informed about the usefulness of a database suggested by France and CENcomm, the secure communication tool made available by the WCO for the exchange of information and intelligence.The meeting resulted in the decision to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on information exchange by Heads of Customs in West Africa later in the year.

The Secretary General also attended the launch of IPM (Interface Public Members) by Senegal Customs in the presence of the private sector.In viewing its functionality and hearing about muchimproved Customs seizure records of counterfeit and pirated goods through the use of IPM, the business community appreciated the WCO’s tool to protect consumer health and safety, state revenue and industry from illicit trade.

When the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, received the Secretary General and the Directors General of Customs, he expressed his concern about drug trafficking which was shared by many Heads of State in the region. He appreciated the willingness of Heads of Customs to strengthen border control by sharing information, wishing Customs operations all the best.Secretary General Mikuriya highlighted the important step that Customs administrations had taken in establishing a regional network of cooperation supported by technology.