RILO AP Regional Seminar for Capacity Building
10 Jun 2023
RILO AP hosted the regional seminar for capacity building on 8th June 2023. The seminar was held on a virtual platform – Zoom with 75 participants from 18 member administrations and 4 international agencies. The purpose of the seminar is to enhance the enforcement capacity in the Asia-Pacific region by updating information and sharing best practices, which are summarized from the analysis of the international agencies. This time, the seminar was composed of six presentations and each presentation took around 30 minutes including the Q&A session. So, the seminar started at 14:00 (GMT+9) and finished at 17:30 (GMT+9).
The event started with the opening remarks from Mr. Park, the head of RILO AP. He highlighted the importance of international cooperation for effective enforcement activities to counter the complex methods of smuggling that have emerged recently. In addition, he also encouraged active participation in joint operations such as DEMETER, OMD, and IRENE series in the Asia-Pacific region to make the result successful. Then, the moderator outlined the entire schedule and introduced the presenters for the day.
Second, Mr. Keeho Kim, Mr. David Hinkle, and Ms. Mei Wang from US CBP talked about the narcotics smuggling trends based on comprehensive analysis. They mentioned the latest drug detection cases and trends, operation results of container tracking systems using GPS Tracker, and the application of Container Probe as an alternative to the current container inspection system and its usefulness.
Third, Nakamura Tomonori from Japan WCO Regional Customs Laboratory and Morikazu Eiji from Japan Customs International Intelligence Office made a presentation on smuggling trends and drug-detecting equipment in Japan Customs. It contained an explanation of smuggling attempts in Japan Customs, detected items and best practices for seizure, drug detection cases, RCL organization, drug analysis techniques, and introduction to Customs analysis equipment.
Fourth, Ms. Linda Cheek from WCO in partnership with Australian Border Force introduced the joint operation – TINCAN. She dealt with Insider threats in the maritime supply chain, rip-on/off smuggling techniques, cooperative measures with shipping companies to identify internal conspirators in the supply chain, cases of detection, and challenges.
Fifth, Mr. Nguyen Duc Long from SINCB (Secretariat of the International Narcotics Control Board) made a presentation titled “International Drug Control Efforts: Non-scheduled Substances and Threats”. The presentation covered an overview of the UN drug control treaties, introduction of GRIDS programs, growing trend of NPS (new psychotropic substances), information exchange platform (IONICS, GRIDS tool), and regional trend of illegal drug trafficking.
Lastly, Ms. Jackline Wanjiru from UNEP introduced Green Customs Initiatives with a brief explanation of environmental treaties. During her presentation, she talked about various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) with overview, composition, characteristics, and history. In addition, she mentioned measures and best practices for realizing MEAs within Customs authorities through the Green Customs Initiatives by implementing expected roles.
With the active participation from Asia-Pacific member administrations as well as international agencies, the seminar ended successfully. The contents given from the presentations of each international organization were informative and practical to Customs authorities. Mr. Kyung-sik Chae, deputy head of RILO AP showed deep appreciation to all the participants in the meeting during his closing remarks. RILO AP looks forward to various kinds of capacity-building programs in the Asia-Pacific region so that the region would excel in Customs enforcement activities.