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MEAs Enforcement Training Workshop for Customs Officers and Border Control Personnel. THE PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF IMPLEMENTING MEA CONTROLS THE ROLE OF CUSTOMS. Introduction. Although each of the MEAs has a different purpose, there are similarities between them at the operational level.

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Meas enforcement training workshop for customs officers and border control personnel

MEAs Enforcement Training Workshopfor Customs Officers and Border Control Personnel

THE PRACTICAL ASPECTS OF

IMPLEMENTING MEA CONTROLS

THE ROLE OF CUSTOMS


Introduction
Introduction

Although each of the MEAs has a different purpose, there are similarities between them at the operational level.

The types of issues facing a Customs or border control officer when implementing

one treaty might resemble those encountered in implementing other treaties.


Unit objectives
Unit Objectives

  • Discuss the Common issues for Customs in implementing MEAs

  • Describe the main smuggling methods used in illegal trade of environmentally sensitive goods (ESG)

  • Explain the Reporting channels available for illegal trade ESG


Unit outline
Unit Outline

  • Introduction

  • Common Issues in Implementing MEAs

  • Smuggling Techniques encountered

  • Reporting Channels

  • Conclusion


Common mea issues for customs
Common MEA issues for Customs

  • Health and safety

  • Seizures and storage

  • Communication

  • Identification

  • Legislation

  • Derogations

  • Non-Parties

  • Free trade zones


Health and s afety
Health and Safety

Customs officers must be conscious of health and safety and should not approach a scene involving hazardous, toxic or dangerous goods, chemicals or materials before assessing the situation.

Based on that assessment, they would take the appropriate precautions


Health and s afety1
Health and Safety

Don’t’s

  • Take any action unless you have been trained in handling potentially dangerous goods.

  • Enter confined spaces

  • Open trailers or trucks

  • Open drums or other containers

  • Presume the exact contents of the cargo based on label

  • Destroy evidence

Do’s

  • Assess the situation

  • Try to identify the substance only with information provided

  • Secure the scene

  • Report incident to the appropriate authority


Seizures and storage
Seizures and Storage

Most Countries have rules and procedures to apply when illegal shipments are identified and seized.

In the case of goods covered by the MEAs Customs must consult with the relevant authorities for expert advice or guidelines for treating with and storing such goods

Each of the MEAs may have special peculiarities


Seizure and storage
Seizure and Storage

  • All goods labelled as “dangerous” or containing a harmful or hazardous chemical are generally stored in a Special Transit Shed set aside for such goods.

  • The Port Authority Regulations in most states require prior notification from ships carrying potentially harmful or dangerous cargo which must have proper labelling

  • This is the practice in most CARIFORUM countries


Communication
Communication

All treaties offer similar advice on communication:

Customs officers should be aware of the national contact point for each MEA to which their country is a Party, and they should receive regular updates from contact points on how to implement the treaties.


Identification
Identification

Customs and other border control personnel must be knowledgeable about the goods and the requirements covered by each of the MEAs.

This will assist them in distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate transactions and take appropriate action


Legislation
Legislation

For all the conventions, it is important that Customs administrations are well informed of the relevant legislation and are consulted during preparation of the National legislation applying international obligations, and that they are aware of their duties and mandate under the national law for implementation of the international convention.


Derogations
Derogations

Some of the MEAs have no derogations or reservations. E.g. Basel, Biosafety

  • Other MEAs have provisions for exceptions to the general rule e.g. CITES specimens that are personally owned or possessed for non commercial purposes, legally acquired, and at the time of import, export or re-export either are worn or carried or included in personal baggage or are part of a household move.


Non parties
Non-Parties

Most of the MEAs prohibit trade between parties and non parties.

In the case of the Biosafety Protocol a non party is required indirectly to abide by its terms if they are trading in living modified organisms with Parties.

Article 24 of the Protocol requires the trans-boundary movements of LMOs between Parties and non-Parties to be consistent with the objective of the Protocol.


Free trade zones
Free trade zones

Customs officers should check with the

relevant authority about how the trade rules of MEAs to which their country is party are implemented in specific zones such as free trade zones.


Smuggling methods
Smuggling Methods

The combined effect of increased regulation and effective enforcement creates an incentive for persons to engage in illegal trade of environmentally sensitive goods. Smuggling methods are employed in an effort to “beat the system.”

It is essential that Customs Officers must be aware that smugglers of all kind attempt to utilize the same channels and methods


Smuggling methods1
Smuggling Methods

  • Abuse of Transit or Re-export Procedures

  • Incorrect description of Goods

  • Concealment

  • Undeclared Quantities

  • Un-canalised Points of Entry


Smuggling detection methods
Smuggling & Detection Methods

Abuse of Transit or Re-export Procedures

  • Ships with “goods” intended for transit or re-export to another country sometimes find their way into the domestic market by way of internal conspiracies

    Detection method:

    Inspection of cargo declarations and proper procedures for cargo accountability


Smuggling detection methods1
Smuggling & Detection Methods

Misdescription of Goods

  • Illegal Goods are deliberately misdescribed on documents and labels so that they enter the domestic market purporting to be legitimate goods

    Detection Method:

    Physical inspection of high risk consignments and comparing documentation with goods


Smuggling detection methods2
Smuggling & Detection Methods

Concealment

  • Illegal Goods are packed or concealed among legitimate goods in a manner to deceive the authorities.

    Detection Method :

    Thorough inspection of cargo consignments selected for examination


Smuggling detection methods3
Smuggling & Detection Methods

Undeclared Quantities

  • Consignments which may be permitted to enter may actually contain more items than declared resulting in excess quantities entering the domestic market.

    Detection Method :

    Review invoices and compare quantities stated with actual quantities being imported


Smuggling detection methods4
Smuggling & Detection Methods

Un-canalised Points of Entry

  • Small vessels and other modes of transport ( aircraft or trucks where applicable) may utilise unofficial points of entry to smuggle illegal goods.

    Detection Method:

    Surveillance and patrols of vulnerable areas and known points of illegal activity. Law enforcement cooperation is vital


Reporting cases of illegal traffic in environmentally sensitive items
Reporting Cases of Illegal Trafficin Environmentally Sensitive Items

In House Reporting

Follow the internal procedures for preparing and presenting reports to relevant persons within your administration.

National Reports

All cases of infringements should also be reported to the Designated National Authority, or Focal Point for their own records and to meet regional or international obligations.


Reporting cases of illegal traffic in environmentally sensitive items1
Reporting Cases of Illegal Trafficin Environmentally Sensitive Items

Regional Reporting

Customs Officials may also channel such reports to the CCLEC who serves as the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for the Caribbean Area. The CCLEC in turn forwards the information to the WCO or INTERPOL using their established methods.


Reporting cases of illegal traffic in environmentally sensitive items2
Reporting Cases of Illegal Trafficin Environmentally Sensitive Items

  • WCO enforcement instruments

    - Global Information and Intelligence Strategy (GIIS) and Risk Assessment Indicators

    - WCO Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) and Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO)

    network

  • Interpol’s Eco-message

    - Eco-message forms


Next steps
Next Steps

  • Talk to colleagues

  • Seek more information about multilateral environmental agreements

  • Follow developments in the MEAs

  • Provide feedback to help develop national policies and legislation

  • Provide feedback to the national, regional and international partners / network


Conclusion
Conclusion

Questions

Review

Link to Learning Activity # 3

on Free Circulation


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