04th April 2021 - Trebil, Iraq
A unique and strategic point, the Trebil border crossing point (BCP) is the only official entry point to Jordan from Iraq. Trade movements at BCP came to a complete stop as a result of the conflict with the terrorist organization the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) and started again in 2017. An enhanced and stronger Trebil border crossing point means increasing legitimate trade, preventing cross-border movement of illicit goods, and countering transnational organized crime. Rebuilding the BCP is a government priority as Iraq pursues sustainable development.
With generous support from the European Union, UNODC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are implementing a project titled “Enhancing the Capacity of the Government of Iraq at Trebil Border Crossing Point”.
As part of this project, customs and other law enforcement officers working at the Trebil BCP in Iraq and the Karameh BCP in Jordan took part in in-depth training. The activity was organized by UNODC, IOM Iraq, and the World Customs Organization (WCO). Participants from Jordan attended the training held at Karameh BCP in person, while Iraqi officers joined remotely.
Through the training, the officers can now go back to their posts with a solid understanding of a wide range of topics, including but not limited to basic awareness of the UNODC-WCO’s Container Control Programme (CCP) – implemented through the project - and its current state of play, the 1972 WCO Customs Convention on Containers and the eBIC container specification.
Furthermore, the participants discussed the use of the internet as a source of reliable information, the Container Track & Trace software, methods of handling maritime commercial documents, different types of freight containers, risk analysis, and profiling and targeting techniques.
By having the officers, who are at the core of the BCPs’ operations, gain such knowledge, the border crossing point will function more effectively by
1) improving security and the flow of goods and people on the border between Jordan and Iraq,
2) enhancing the Government of Iraq’s capacity to revitalize cross-border trade and the local economy.
In their opening statements, participants from both countries praised CCP for swiftly adapting to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in adhering to internationally established protocols and recommendations during training activities.
Soon, the same group of officers will take part in the second training under this project, focused on Strategic Trade and Export Control.
CCP aims to establish and maintain Port Control Units at seaports, dry ports and land-border crossings, and Air Cargo Control Units at airports. This entails equipping, training and mentoring Customs and other law enforcement officers, with a view to improving the identification and inspection of high-risk freight containers, with minimum disruption to legitimate trade and business. CCP currently operates in over 70 countries, and the programme has continued to expand despite COVID-19 related challenges, through the delivery of in-person, online, and hybrid trainings.