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WCO Addresses High Level Meeting of Customs Directors General of the European Union

At the invitation of Ms. Dana Meager, State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, Ms. Ana Hinojosa, Director, Compliance and Facilitation, addressed the High Level Meeting of Customs Directors General of the European Union, held in Brussels on 25 October 2016.

Director Hinojosa briefed the DG's on WCO initiatives on to counter the threats of terrorism, on supply chain security and on the key tools for these initiatives, including the development of strong partnerships with other Customs administrations, with law enforcement organization and also with the private sector. The WCO emphasized the important role of Customs, based on the strategic positioning and inherent knowledge of, and access to, data related to, legitimate trade and travel, which enables Customs to be keenly aware of abnormalities or deviations from normal trade and travel flows. Director Hinojosa also emphasized that Customs is often the first line of defense against cross border criminal activities, and, in some cases, may be the last line of defense for some member countries.  

The meeting was also addressed by State Secretary Meager, Mr. Stephen Quest, Director General, DG TAXUD, who spoke on the creation of the Security of the Union concept, IT developments to 2020 and the need for a business case for beyond, including demands for provision of equipment. Mr. Oldřich Martinů, Deputy Director for Governance, Europol updated delegates on the links of terrorist to organized crime, cybercrime, access to PNR, means of communication with national Customs and operational activities.

The Slovakian Presidency thanked the keynote speakers for their updates.