CCLEC Representatives Meet with WCO Secretary General

CCLEC Permanent Secretary, Claude Paul, along with representatives from St. Lucia, Bermuda and the Netherlands met with the WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, and representatives of the Compliance and Enforcement Directorate to discuss matters of mutual interest. This included a revision of the current MOU between CCLEC and WCO, exploring ways to improve information exchange including with non-WCO members, and identifying areas for collaborating in capacity building to enhance operations of Customs administrations.

CCLEC Pressed ahead with its 43rd Conference Despite the Pandemic

The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) celebrated its Forty Third Annual Conference via video conferencing during the period June 2nd – 3rd 2021.

Representatives of twenty-seven (27) member countries as well as a number of regional and international observers attended the sessions. Strategic partners included representatives of the World Customs Organization, the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP), Interpol, CDEMA, CDB, CICAD/OAS, Grenada Tourism Authority, Caribbean Law Enforcement Foundation (CLEF), Crime Stoppers, ICE and the Caribbean Brokers Association.

The Conference was preceded by a keynote address by Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation (WCO).  In his address, the Secretary General emphasized WCO’s commitment to the region under the Small Island Economies initiative. He also announced the development of two new guidelines which will be beneficial to the region – a global data standard for cruise ships and a compendium of best practices in the cruise ship environment and guidelines on Disaster Management and Supply Chain Continuity. (WCO Secretary General speech)

Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on the global economies and the challenges facing Customs administrations to manage the borders during a pandemic, Council invited regional and international partners, to present on topics that were both informative and relevant to the current reality.


The emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted face-to-face meetings and training globally and CCLEC, like many organizations, has had to adapt to this new environment.  This year a shortened version of the CCLEC annual conference was held via video conferencing from November 4th – 6th 2020, primarily to discuss the organization’s work program and finances.…


The CCLEC 41st Conference was held in Havana, Cuba on May 22-24, 2019 under the theme

The Pathway to Success: Strength through Unity’. This event was marked by the historical signing of the treaty which will establish the Caribbean Customs Organization (CCO).

The signing ceremony was attended by high level government officials including, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr Menno Snel, Minister for Finance of Taxation and Customs of the Netherlands, Mrs Xiomara Ruiz-Maduro, Minister of Finance, Economic Affairs and Culture of Aruba, Mr Kenneth Gijsbertha, Minister of Finance of Curacao, and Mr Cornelius de Weever, Minister of Justice of Sint Maarten, who all signed for their respective countries. Ambassador to Cuba, Mr Andrew Brent, signed on behalf of the Bahamas, and Mr Antony Stokes, UK’s Ambassador to Cuba, signed on behalf of Anguilla, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Montserrat, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Representatives from Customs, Mr Raju Boddu, Comptroller of Customs for Antigua, Mr Nelson E. Cordovés Reyes, Head of Customs for Cuba, Mr Cesar Zorrilla, Manager of the Technical Deliberative Department of the General Customs Directorate for the Dominican Republic, and Mr Fritz Alcindor, Deputy Director General of Haiti signed on behalf of their respective governments.

After three decades of operating under an MOU, members of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) agreed that it was of paramount importance, given the opportunities and challenges presented by technological advancements, to formalize the legal basis for sharing information. The MOU to establish the CCLEC was signed in 1989, an MOU which, although not legally binding, served the organization in meeting its objectives to improve the overall professionalism of its members through cooperation, sharing of best practices, human resource development, modernization, automation, harmonization of processes and procedures and information/intelligence sharing.  However, global security challenges, the need for automatic sharing of information and the advent of several new trade arrangements means that the CCLEC’s role will become more complex. To this end, the need for a more robust legally binding mechanism to improve information and intelligence exchange was necessary.

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


The CCLEC 40th Conference was convened in Miami from May 23-26, 2018 under the theme Strengthening the Exchange of Information for Integrated Border Management and Risk Management to Facilitate Legitimate Trade”. Twenty two countries were in attendance as well as regional and international organisations. CCLEC was pleased to welcome Japan Customs, who was attending for the first time.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Ms Hazel Edwards of the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA).  Director General of Haiti and Chairman of the 40th Conference, Mr Jean Jorel Janvier, welcomed the delegates and the representative from the WCO, Mr Leigh Winchell, Deputy Director for Compliance and Enforcement delivered the opening address.  The keynote address was delivered by Mrs Velma Ricketts Walker, Commissioner of Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA).

In her address, Mrs Walker noted that the advent of the information technology revolution has resulted in an extremely dynamic Customs environment with many Customs administrations having to respond to exponential increases in the volume of trade. She underlined the use of ICT, Single Window for strengthening the exchange of information and risk management as key to managing the changing landscape.

The region was also urged to be cognisant of the emerging security challenges at its borders. The ongoing unrest in Venezuela, the vulnerabilities associated with the expanding Economic Citizen program and the radicalization of individuals from the region travelling to the Middle East were cited as real border security threats.

She emphasised the need for robust information sharing between Customs administrations and border agencies. She said “If criminal networks can successfully strengthen transnational information sharing and build illicit empires…what of law enforcement? Will we adjust our sails to effectively mitigate against adverse and changing winds? We must answer the call to protect our nation’s borders while facilitating legitimate trade.”

JIO visit to South Korea – 30th Anniversary RILO A/P

At the invitation of the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) Asia/Pacific (A/P), the CCLEC JIO attended the ceremony held in Seoul, Korea on 6 2017 to mark the 30th Anniversary of the first RILO and the birth of the global RILO network. The JIO was one of 10 RILO’s to attend this ceremony.
The WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya was present for this ceremony.

Following the welcome address by the Korea Customs Service Commissioner, Mr. Yung-Moon Kim, Secretary General Mikuriya delivered a congratulatory speech expressing his sincere appreciation to the past four host Administrations of the RILO A/P for their services, namely Hong Kong, China (1987-1998), Japan (1999-2003), China (2004-2011) and Korea (2012- present). He recognised the gradual evolution of the RILO A/P nurtured by the four Administrations: (i) foundation (Hong Kong, China); (ii) capacity building (Japan); (iii) operations (China); (iv) and networking (Korea) with all 33 WCO A/P

Annual Enforcement Conference held in Miami

The annual Enforcement Liaison Officer (ELO) conference was held on 1st& 2nd November 2017 in Miami. In attendance were twenty six (26) countries and representatives of WCO Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Western Europe. The meeting was a joint effort by ODA, CCLEC and member administrations.

This annual meeting is an integral part of the CCLEC enforcement network and WCO National Contact Points. The meeting’s primary objective was to foster closer cooperation with regional and international counterparts and improve networking.

Presentations were made by a Border Force Senior Officer from International Directorate South Americas on Operation Hunter, a representative from Japan Tobacco Industry on tobacco smuggling and a former UNODC consultant, on fuel smuggling. Both the RILOs delivered presentations on work being carried out in their regions.

The JIO presented the report on Operation Caribbean Shield which was held for six weeks in the region.  The Operation was focused on small arms trafficking in the region to assess the level of risk at the borders.

ACIS – Advanced Cargo Information System Meeting

Security protection, health protection, and increased efficiency through advance cargo detection were just three of the primary benefits presented at the recently held meeting of the Advance Cargo Information System (ACIS) Implementation and Oversight Committee (IOC) in Barbados. The meeting which was held on October 17, 2017, represented both a collective and strategic approach by regional Customs administrations towards the implementation of an advance cargo information system which was conceptualized over a decade ago in harmony with the Advance Passenger Information System (APIS).

The committee which comprised representatives from Customs Administrations within CARICOM, along with overseeing entities, CARICOM IMPACS and CCLEC, engaged in the critical discussions over the one-day meeting, outlining the operations, opportunities, and objectives of the proposed project. Central to discussions were the benefits to be derived from a collective approach to implementing the ACIS project. These benefits stemmed essentially from the stability the Electronic Manifest Management ASYCUDA System (EMMAS), the robust platform for hosting the proposed ACIS.

By adopting a collective approach,  Customs Administrations are expected to see “data requirements minimized, harmonised and submission guaranteed through a single portal.” Added to this is “the opportunity to enhance cargo supply chain security through pre-arrival screening protocols and procedures to assess the level of risk and thus target shipments in a timely manner before their arrival or departure.” By contrast, the weaknesses of a singular approach would mean redundant investments in technology to adapt to country-specific needs and standards, as well as costs incurred through software licensing and operations.