November 9, 2002

World Customs antiterrorism task force meets

A lot of attention has been rightly paid by action at IMO to enhance maritime security. IMO, however, cannot do much about the issue of the door-to-door security of the container supply chain. That falls within the scope of the World Customs Organization (WCO).

An international task force organized on the initiative of the World Customs Organization met again in Brussels November 7.It continued crucial work on security and facilitation arising from the adoption of a resolution adopted by the heads of the world's customs administrations in June.

The work of the task force is the first stage of a process aimed at developing global standards and methodologies to strengthen the security of the supply chain while ensuring the continued flow of international trade. The task force brings together customs administrators, intergovernmental organizations, trade associations as well as representatives involved in air, maritime and road transport.

"The fight against terrorism implies co-operation between all those involved in the international trade process to ensure that effective controls are achieved while facilitating legitimate trade," says WCO Secretary General Mihel Danet. "In this way, the work of the task force is essential to deliver swift improvements to international security."

Topics on the agenda for Thursday's meeting included the exchange of information and development of partnership between trade and Customs, increasing the use of technology, the advance electronic transmission of data to Customs to enable the identification of risk consignments and conveyances for examination and the enhancement of import, export and in-transit controls

Developments at the WCO are on the agenda for discussion at Marine Log's MARITIME SECURITY 2 Conference in Washington, DC, January 28 & 29, 2003

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