Photo credit: DiasporaEngager (www.DiasporaEngager.com).

Barrack said that the focus is on the prevention of narcotics and other illicit goods from being smuggled through Seychelles’ borders in containerised cargo. (Seychelles News Agency)

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A Container Control Unit is expected to be created in Seychelles under the leadership of the Seychelles Revenue Commission (SCR) later this year with the aim to ensure better border security and reduce the risks of illicit materials entering the country.  

The people who will work with the unit are being trained for 10 days at the Eden Bleu Hotel, with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

Attending the training are representatives from the SRC, the Seychelles Police Force, the National Biosecurity Agency and the Seychelles Ports Authority.

“Amidst the ongoing effort to improve our risk management capabilities, to better secure our borders, enhance supply chain security, and facilitate trade, this training has come at an opportune moment, where our focus is on the prevention of narcotics and other illicit goods from being smuggled through our borders in containerised cargo,” said Paul Barrack, the commissioner of Customs.  

Participants will learn about topics such as container search, health and safety related to containers, legislation and powers of national agencies in relation to import and export, and use of the internet as a source of information profiling exercise. The training will culminate in a practical exercise.

Barrack said he is confident that through the collective effort of all included in the training, Seychelles will effectively strengthen its monitoring system and increase efficiencies in devising mitigating actions to combat potential risks.

“Through the exchange of information, customs can improve its risk management, expedite the clearance of legitimate trade, mitigate revenue loss, and improve the quality of its profiling, resulting in more interceptions of prohibited and counterfeit goods,” he added.  

The mission of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), which is facilitating this training in Seychelles, is to build capacity in countries seeking to improve risk management, supply chain security, and trade facilitation in seaports, airports, and land border crossings to prevent the cross-border movement of illicit goods.

Speaking a the opening of the training, Edmund Landy Tei, the CCP regional trainer for Eastern and Southern Africa, said that these multi-agency teams have already been established in countries in the region, with Mauritius’ unit opened just last month.

“Sustainable development is underpinned by a safe and secure economy and the work that we do together, grows economic prosperity. Our work does not stand alone. It is a key element of sustainable development here in Seychelles, in the region and around the world,” he said.

At present, the CCP is operational in over 70 member states, and more than 120 Port Control Units (PCUs) and Air Cargo Control Units (ACCUs) have been established since the CCP’s inception in 2004.

Source of original article: Seychelles News Agency – National (www.seychellesnewsagency.com).
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