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Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) received support by WCO in enhancing its capacity to mitigate Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT)

26 abril 2018

The WCO Inama Project aims to strengthen the enforcement capacity of targeted Customs administrations in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on the illegal trade in wildlife (fauna and flora) and in particular species  listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Late in 2016 the WCO prioritized 7 countries that would benefit from a tailor-made national support during 2017 and 2018, under the auspices of the Inama project. Each prioritized Customs administration received a scoping mission to validate the findings of their self-assessments on enforcement of CITES based on the WCO-Inama Institutional Assessment Tool.

Uganda benefitted from such scoping mission in February 2017 and as a result, a diagnostic report and a related work plan focused on the key recommendations was drafted and subsequently approved by the URA Customs Commissioner.

A first mission to implement some of the activities contained within the work plan was conducted in December 2017 and a second mission was held in April 2018.

During the second national support mission under the auspices of the WCO Inama project, URA and the WCO jointly conducted various activities aiming to strengthen Uganda’s capacity to effectively enforce CITES and mitigate Illegal Wildlife Trade. As a result, a CITES Enforcement Handbook (Procedure Guide) has been developed. The CITES Enforcement Handbook could be incorporated in the next edition of the URA Customs Business Process Compendium.

In order to combat effectively IWT, including smuggling and poaching, it is crucial for Customs to collaborate with all involved stakeholders, including Police, the Judiciary and Wildlife Authorities.  In this regard, the CITES multi-agency working group has been reconvened in Uganda and draft Memoranda of Understanding/Procedures code with key agencies have been developed. The agenda for the inaugural meeting of the CITES working group has further been set, along with a schedule of regular meetings.

Awareness is crucial to ensure that all stakeholders adhere and are fully involved in tackling IWT. Therefore, specific awareness raising material for Customs officers at border posts has been elaborated.  Furthermore, a multi-agency Communication Campaign focusing on the public and private sectors, the civil society and the general public has been planned.

The Inama project is currently funded by the US Department of State and Sweden. This particular activity was sponsored by Sweden.

For more information on the Inama project, please contact Roux Raath, the WCO Environment Programme Manager, WCO Compliance and Enforcement Sub-Directorate,