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SRC and partners undergo specialised container control training |13 February 2024

SRC and partners undergo specialised container control training

Souvenir photo of the delegates and trainers (Photo; Joena Meme)

As Seychelles gears up for the development of a new specialised port control unit, officials from the Seychelles Revenue Commission and partner authorities are undergoing a 10-day theoretical training programme on container control at the Eden Bleu Hotel.

Customs officers are joined by key partners from the Seychelles police force, biosecurity division of the Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, and Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) to collectively build knowledge on the requisites for an effective and efficient port control unit, to detect and prevent the cross-border movement of illicit goods.

Commissioner of customs Paul Barrack highlighted the importance of the training in the ongoing effort to improve risk management capabilities, to better secure Seychelles’ borders, enhance supply chain security, and facilitate trade.

“Through these collective efforts, I am confident that we will effectively strengthen the Seychelles monitoring system and increase efficiencies in devising mitigating actions to combat potential risks. For instance, through 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 interception of prohibited and counterfeit goods,” said Mr Barrack.

“This is important because in the region, there are numerous attempts by people to bring in illicit goods, and drugs. And, if we lack the appropriate baggage to detect these things, this makes it difficult for our country as these things can easily make its way in,” Mr Barrack continued.

Customs has in the past intercepted cargo whereby importers have made false declarations, or have failed to declare certain goods, even if these are legitimate, Mr Barrack noted.

“In the context of drugs, there have not been any interception of drugs at the New Port recently, but this does not mean that we should not intensify our efforts to ensure that it does not come in,” Mr Barrack added.

The new inter-agency unit is to be established by this year. It will be staffed by enforcement officers who are equipped to exchange information with counterparts in other countries using a secure communication application, developed by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).Through the platform, the agencies will be able to access a wealth of information, and share information about high-risk containers to ease verification of their identification numbers.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) trainer Edmund Landy Tei said the establishment of the PCU will be a key milestone in the collective effort to enhance supply chain security, and to combat transnational crime, corruption and terror.

Mr Landy Tei explained that control units have been established in various other countries in the region, including Angola, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Uganda. There are over 180 units spread across over 80 countries around the world.

In 2022 and 2023, the units within the region made seizures, including 75 kilograms of ivory, 15 kilograms of rhino horns, and multiple seizures of tobacco products.

The PCU in Uganda intercepted two separate loads of explosives in 2023, Mr Landy Tei added, stating that the PCU teams have a key impact on peace and security in the region.

“Sustainable development is underpinned by a safe, secure economy, and the work that we do together grows economic prosperity,” Mr Landy Tei added.

The capacity-building training is being facilitated by the UNODC, the WCO and the SRC, with funding from the European Union (EU).

The training will come to a close on February 23.


Laura Pillay



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