CCLEC’s Support to Regional Customs Departments Regarding the Coronavirus Threat

The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) continues to monitor regional and International Organization’s status reports, national policy statements and preparations to manage the Coronavirus outbreak already plaguing several countries worldwide.

Customs, Immigration, Health and Quarantine officers, Ports Authority workers, passengers, crew and all persons interacting at Ports have legitimate reasons to be concerned about their health and safety in view of the Coronavirus threat to the Caribbean Community.

Permanent Secretary of the CCLEC, Albert Sandy, in an advisory to Heads of Customs and Excise Departments on Monday, March 2nd expressed confidence in the ability of the SailClear/RCS2019  vessel processing System to assist Customs, Immigration and Port Health officers in managing the coronavirus threat to Caribbean states.  The SailClear/RCS 2019 System which is already in use by Caribbean Customs administrations, from Bermuda to the ABC Islands, is a live, online administrative tool that receives, prearrival notifications from pleasure yachts and other small vessels arriving from any port in the world, intending to visit any Caribbean Port(s). That information received in advance by Customs is used to assess the vessels, crew and luggage before arrival or departure, enabling Customs, immigration or other authorities (using the Customs and health declaration) to determine how to treat the vessels and their occupants.  It also serves as a facilitation tool to expedite the vessel clearance process, without the need of masters and crew presenting handwritten declarations to Customs and Immigration authorities.

CCLEC / UKBF Middle Management Training – Miami

The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) with funding from the United Kingdom Border Force (UKBF) conducted a Middle Management and Operational Leadership Course, aimed at Supervisory staff of member Customs administrations.   This course was delivered at the Crown Plaza Hotel, Miami from 12th -14th February 2019.  Eighteen middle managers from the Greater Antilles, Dutch Antilles, the OECS, Central and South America, including Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Guyana attended.

CARMS a UK based human resource development company was contracted to deliver the training course.  CARMS tutors comprised academic and ex law enforcement professionals, with many years of experience in consultancy, training delivery, mentoring, and support services.

The following topics and learning outcomes which were demonstrably achieved were based on European Union Management Competencies.

  1. Understanding the current and future issues and demands of a manager and the organisation
  2. Recognize the need for good leadership practices and the effects different leadership styles can have on individuals and teams
  3. Recognize the need for good Management practices and the effects different management approaches can have on individuals and teams
  4. Explore the roles and responsibilities of a manger in the operational setting

International Customs Day Message – 26th January 2019

The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council congratulates its member administrations and the global Customs community on its observance of International Customs Day 2019.

Customs administrations in various forms have existed from time immemorial. Governments establish Customs and Excise departments for the purposes of tax collection, trade facilitation, regulation of the importation/exportation of restricted and prohibited goods, the protection of society and in more recent times terrorism detection and interdiction.

The World Customs Organization’s slogan for International Customs Day (ICD) 2019 is “SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport.”    CCLEC readily adopts same and challenges all its members to embrace these principles and strive to implement practices and processes that bring smart borders into realization.

The acronym SMART stands for:  Secure, Measurable, Automated, Risk Management-based and Technology-driven. It requires Customs to innovatively drive the development of frameworks, standards and practices both academically and practically, that will greatly enhance the speed of processing and facilitating the delivery of goods, passengers and conveyances, while securing same. This creates a more enabling economic environment for national development, equity in trade and societal protections can produce safe and productive societies.

WCO Conference on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC)

The World Customs Organization (WCO) in collaboration with the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council and St Lucia Customs hosted the first WCO Conference on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) for the Caribbean, at the Bay Gardens Resort, St. Lucia, on 26-30 November 2018. The conference brought together Customs Administrations from Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Belize, BVI, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago.

The objective of this Conference was to enhance the general knowledge of the RKC among Customs administrations in the Caribbean region, to identify accession and implementation gaps and challenges, as well as exploring potential solutions for accession to the RKC.

The World Customs Organization’s Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) brings together all WCO tools to bear on Customs modernization in support of the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) for the simplification and harmonization of Customs processes.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018.

Corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. Corruption undermines democratic institutions, slows economic development and contributes to governmental instability. Corruption attacks the foundation of democratic institutions by distorting electoral processes, perverting the rule of law and creating bureaucratic quagmires whose only reason for existing is the soliciting of bribes.…

Venezuela Joins Haiti And US As Region’s Major Illegal Guns Supplier

Economic crises in Venezuela may propel that country to the position of one of the Caribbean’s largest supplier of illegal guns and ammunition, along with Haiti and the United States of America, says Anthony Clayton, professor of Caribbean sustainable development at the Univer-sity of the West Indies.

“It is not just the (illegal gun) trade with Haiti or the import of weapons from the United States. There is going to be a third major source of supply into the Caribbean region and that is Venezuela,” Clayton told The Gleaner yesterday.

Clayton said that Venezuela has more guns per person than any country in the Western Hemisphere, a deliberate move by former President Hugo Ch·vez.

Now that the economy is suffering immensely, those arms are being sold rapidly to facilitate basic survival.

“The problem we are facing is, because with Venezuela’s economic collapse, there is now evidence of weapons flooding out of Venezuela, initially into Trinidad, but which will come percolating through the Caribbean. Venezuela has got more guns per person than almost any other country in the (western) hemisphere, including the United States.”

“This is partly due to former President Ch·vez’s policy of arming the militias. Now, with the economy collapsing, a lot of them are selling their weapons and they are selling them for groceries, pharmaceuticals and basic survival items,” Clayton said.

Celebrating International Customs Day 2017

This year International Customs Day is celebrated on January 26th 2017 under the theme “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management’.  The theme is very appropriate given the current climate as it relates to border security. In most jurisdictions around the globe, Customs is recognized as the key law enforcement agency involved in border protection and…

Cannabis DNA database being developed

A genetic science project which aims to sequence the DNA of every strain of marijuana in the world could also benefit police forces across the globe, making it easier to identify both national and international smuggling networks.

The database could enable law enforcement agencies to track the source of shipments and provide a direct link between importers and lower-level sellers.

Pylos Bioscience, based in Portland, Oregon, was founded in 2015 by microbiologist Mowgli Holmes to bring more consistency to the recreational marijuana and medical marijuana business. The drug is currently legal in eight states for recreational use and available for medical use in a further 21 states.

Phylos has 17 full-time employees and has put together a collection of cannabis strains that includes rare, ancient, specimens from museums and herbariums in Thailand, Colombia, and a dozen other countries including the UK. Marijuana breeders and private collectors from around the world have also contributed samples from their personal stashes.