The Antigua and Barbuda Customs and Excise Division is intensifying efforts to build capacity across all of its Departments.
Officers are constantly being exposed to new and emerging trends, up to date information and modern strategies as a result of their participation in various regional and international training initiatives.
The programmes are sourced, coordinated and managed by the Director of Customs Research and Development Mr. George Browne and his competent team at the Customs and Excise Division.
In the past week, around 20 officers were targeted in separate online courses on matters relevant to the execution of their daily duties.
Major among the initiatives was a webinar organised collaboratively by the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMAPCS) and the Global Programme against Money Laundering, Proceeds of Crime and the Financing of Terrorism of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC GPML).
Seven officers participated and it helped to increase their awareness on several matters including how smuggling of currency correlates with money laundering, the approaches to monitoring physical cash transportation in passenger traffic and the best international practices for detecting cross border movement of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (BNI’s).
Another nine officers participated in a webinar on Coordination of Risk Management Systems. This training focusses on increasing the vigilance of Customs on matters of intellectual property and the illegal importation of counterfeit goods.
The course is particularly relevant for the Customs Division as there has been a huge increase in the production of counterfeit drugs and pharmaceutical goods around the world to unscrupulously benefit financially from medical purchases to help in the fight against Covid-19.
The training will ensure officers keep a keen eye out for Intellectual Property violations such as counterfeit drugs and pharmaceuticals which could prove harmful to the general population.
The webinar was funded by the 11th European Development Fund and implemented by the European Union Intellectual Office to benefit the member territories of CARIFORUM.
Another training initiative that took place over the past week focussed on Biosecurity Implications of Caribbean Wildlife on Health, Border Security, Tourism, Trade and the Economy.
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