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Port border control personnel enhance knowledge in passenger search and baggage screening |27 April 2022

Port border control personnel enhance knowledge in passenger search and baggage screening

Minister Derjacques, local port border control personnel, guests and IMO representative in a souvenir photo (Photo: Thomas Meriton)

The search and screening of passengers and their baggage at ferry and cruise port facilities are soon expected to be carried out in a more professional, effective, smooth and fast manner now that a group of 30 local port border control personnel are following a three-day training session to enhance their capacity to screen andsearch passengers and their baggage.

The training is being hosted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in collaboration with the Seychelles Maritime Safety Authority (SMSA).

It was officially launched by the Minister for TransportAntony Derjacques during a short ceremony held at the Seychelles Defence Academy at the Seychelles Coast Guard, Ile Persévérance.

“As one of the leading cruise destinations, our country has been chosen by the IMO to conduct its first planned series of workshops to introduce the passenger and baggage screening and searchtrainings,” said Minister Derjacques.

He further went on to remark that taken into account the thousands of passengers who travel via air and sea that our country welcome every year, it is extremely important for us to have an effective screening system and for stakeholders to work collaboratively in order to identify and address potential threats which can emerge from a weak border control.

“We should strive to provide a service that is impartial, accountable, respectful and ethical. This should be reflected clearly, no matter what level an officer is or which area he or she works in, there are fundamental common values and behaviours that bind us all in the ways through which we approach our work, and perform our duties,” said Minister Derjacques who thanked the IMO for choosing Seychelles for the launch of the training.

Present at the launch ceremony were Kiruja Micheni, representative of the IMO; Phil Williams the IMO consultant and facilitator; principal secretaries; chief executive officers, commanding officers from the Seychelles Coast Guard among other invited guests.

Mr Micheni for his part stated that the training has been organised pursuant to the objectives of the Jeddah Amendment, particularly Article 14 that calls for regional cooperation on the development and promotion of training and educational programmes on security-related matters in respect of the management of the marine domain. This particularly concerns   maintaining safety, law and order at sea, the preservation and protection of the marine environment and sustainable use of marine resources.

He stressed that while the inter-connected maritime domain presents new opportunities and new challenges, the maritime security risks are becoming more complex and trans-national and security issues in one country can affect not only neighbouring countries but the wider region. Mr Micheni noted that the three-day course developed by the IMO is to introduce participants to the emerging threats that will likely shape the maritime landscape in the short to medium term. As a leading cruise tourism destination, it will also give them an overview on how to effectively screen and search maritime ferry and cruise passengers and their baggage.

“As you know, while much attention has been taken to strengthen security at airport terminals, many cruise terminals remain vulnerable. It is our expectation that the outcomes of this training will contribute significantly to strengthensecurity of your ports, a prerequisite for economic growth and prosperity for the benefit of all,” he said.

SMSA chief executive, Captain Joachim Valmont for his part said the training is a necessity as the border personnel working at the ports have no experience in screening and searching of maritime ferries and cruise passengers and their baggage as compared to border personnelworking at the Seychelles International Airport.


Patrick Joubert

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