17 September, Skopje, North Macedonia: The UNODC Global Firearms Programme (GFP) has met with the heads of various departments within the Customs Administration as a final meeting of the three weeks process of needs assessment and analyzing the situation on the ground.
During the period 1-17 September, the Customs Administration of North Macedonia (CA) and UNODC’s Global Firearms Programme (GFP) undertook a need assessment to increase the capacity of the Macedonian CA to detect firearms, their parts, components, and ammunition in postal and courier shipments. The assessment was requested by the National Commission on SALW as a precondition for making a project proposal.
The activities resulted in the identification of required technical assistance (equipment, software, etc.), mapping of the risk assessment procedures, identification of training needs, and development of proposals for standard operating procedures. The information from the gap and needs analysis will be utilized for the development of a project proposal for the implementation of the recommendations agreed by the Macedonian Customs Administration.
The gap and need analysis (GNA) focus on the review and identification of gaps in the processing of incoming and outgoing postal/courier shipments by public and private sector companies. Also, the knowledge and skills of staff to apply risk assessment, identify and detect postal/courier shipments containing firearms, their parts, components, and ammunition, are assessed. Finally, review of the existing equipment and its use, and where feasible formulation of recommendations for procurement of equipment is part of the assessment.
Besides the Customs Administration, the main stakeholders involved in the control of international mail and express courier traffic are the national postal operator - “Macedonian post” AD, and private courier companies including DHL, and franchises like UPS, TNT, and FedEx, including smaller national brands that operate internationally. UNODC has included these stakeholders in the GNA and plans to implement future activities with them.
This activity is implemented with the financial support provided by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Norway through the Western Balkans SALW Control Roadmap Trust Fund and supported by the European Union.