UNODC assists Lebanon in increasing the security of its trade supply chain in the aftermath of the Port of Beirut explosion

© UN Photo/Evan Schneider

Beirut (Lebanon), 11 September 2020 – In anticipation of the challenges posed by the recent explosion in the Port of Beirut, the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) has completed an evaluation mission to assist Lebanese port and law enforcement authorities in the estimation of overall damage and to discuss potential measures to address these.

The Programme will work with Lebanese officials to facilitate legitimate trade and to ensure uninterrupted delivery of urgent supplies and emergency goods into Lebanon, as well as enhancing the country’s enforcement capabilities to detect illicit cargo.

Other forthcoming measures include enhanced inter-agency coordination in terms of performance and oversight of Port Control Units (PCUs) and Air Cargo Control Units (ACCU) at the Lebanese ports of Beirut and Tripoli, as well as at the Beirut International Airport. The aim is to ultimately introduce fast-track clearance and examination procedures for incoming container shipments.

UNODC’s CCP offered Lebanon to strengthen its resources on the ground to provide hands-on operational support to the country’s Customs agency representatives and law enforcement agencies at the Beirut international airport, the Beirut container freight terminal and the Tripoli seaport.

“We believe that CCP experts are well placed to assist Lebanese Customs to establish fast track clearance procedures, and ensure highest security in the containerised trade supply chain,” said Bob van den Berghe, UNODC’s Law Enforcement Expert (CCP) towards the close of his technical mission to Beirut and Tripoli last week.

“Our goal is to assist the country’s trade supply chain and profiling capabilities to move freight and cargo in the quickest, most reliable manner possible, without having to sacrifice safety and security oversight,” he added.

The Programme places a strong emphasis on both enhancing cooperation between the different participating agencies and ensuring the transparency and efficiency of these processes in close cooperation with the Lebanese authorities.

CCP activities in Lebanon are made possible with support from Norway, Australia and Germany.