Project Hermes: developing SOPs and MoUs on countering firearms trafficking in postal parcels

9-10 May 2023, Skopje, North Macedonia; Podgorica, Montenegro; and Pristina, Kosovo[1]: The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has launched a regional project called Project Hermes aimed at countering firearms trafficking in postal parcels in the Western Balkans. As part of this initiative, the UNODC's Global Firearms Programme (GFP) held several workshops in May bringing together Customs Administrations (CA) and designated postal operators (DPOs) to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) for cooperation in countering firearms trafficking in postal parcels.

Project Hermes makes an important contribution in addressing the growing threat of firearms trafficking through postal services, which has become an increasingly common method for smuggling firearms across borders. By developing SOPs and MoUs, CAs and DPOs can coordinate their efforts more effectively to intercept firearms and other dangerous goods, ultimately preventing illicit trafficking.

During the workshops, participants engaged in collaborative discussions, sharing best practices and strategies while building relationships and establishing networks for ongoing communication and cooperation. As a result of the workshops, the participants enhanced their knowledge on developing SOPs and MoUs, proposals were made for establishing inter-institutional working groups to produce first drafts and a timeline was set for the development of the SOPs and MoUs.

This activity was implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.


[1] All references to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).