This week in Vienna, the World Customs Organization Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, discussed the growing success of the ‘Global Container Control Programme’, which was created in 2004, and is now coordinated and operated in 20 countries across five continents. The Programme brings together Customs and other law enforcement entities from around the world into a single operational unit with teams trained to identify high-risk containers using modern risk-management technologies and best practices.
With hundreds of millions of containers flowing in and out of ports every year, criminal organizations are increasing attempts to smuggle narcotics and other illicit goods inside legitimate cargo containers. Officials are hopeful the Programme can expand to more countries and possibly into the air cargo environment.
The global economy relies on the efficient flow of maritime containers to and from all parts of the world. Internationally coordinated risk-based targeting programs are critical to protecting public health, preserving national security, and thwarting the expansion of criminal organizations, all while minimizing the disruption of global trade flow.
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