Container Control Programme Member States sign protocol, affirm readiness for cooperation to tackle drug trafficking and other illicit activities

Container Control Programme Member States sign protocol, affirm readiness for cooperation to tackle drug trafficking and other illicit activities24 July 2017 - The Container Control Programme (CCP), developed jointly by UNODC and the World Customs Organization (WCO), aims to minimize the misuse of containers in the transnational shipment of illicit goods by enhancing law enforcement capabilities of seaports and other similar facilities.

In this regard, heads of Customs Administrations of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan recently gathered in Tbilisi, Georgia, to discuss regional and international cooperation among countries participating in the Programme, and signed a protocol, affirming their readiness to take further efforts, including joint operations.

At the outset of the meeting, Vakhtang Lashkaradze, Deputy Head for the Revenue Service of Georgia, said well and properly organized activities of customs authorities and coordinated actions of law enforcement agencies of different countries were of great importance in tackling drug trafficking and other illicit activities. In this regard, CCP provided a good platform, he said, expressing gratitude for the assistance provided by the WCO and UNODC.

Joining him, Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, said that the regional cooperation among customs was critical for effective targeting of high-risk consignments, and the meeting would pave the way for "concrete actions leading to concrete results."

Also speaking at the event, WCO Director of Facilitation and Compliance, Ana B. Hinojosa, emphasized the critical role played by the customs' in protecting national economies and citizens while ensuring trade facilitation. "CCP provides ample opportunities for national, regional and international cooperation in the fight against illicit goods which fund criminal and terrorist structures," she underscored.

During the meeting, participants discussed issues related to information exchange and joint operations to identify high-risk consignments and to combat drug trafficking and other illicit activities while facilitating legitimate trade. Practical recommendations for better regional and international cooperation were also discussed.

The meeting, hosted by the Revenue Service of Georgia, was organized by UNODC and WCO. The CCP Regional Segments for Afghanistan, Black Sea, Central Asia and Pakistan are funded by the Governments of Canada, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Further Information:

UNODC/WCO Container Control Programme

UNODC in Central Asia

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