The 45th Conference of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) was held in the Cayman Islands from June 5-9, 2023. Twenty-five member administrations and a number of strategic partners attended the conference which took place at the Westin Hotel hosted with the full support of the Director and staff of the Customs Border Control Service.
Mr Ian Saunders of the USA, a candidate for the post of Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), delivered the Keynote address. In his address, Mr Saunders shared his vision for leading the WCO to provide high-quality, responsive services to its members by drawing on its rich past, optimizing present efforts, and driving Customs toward a safe, prosperous, and inclusive future. He highlighted the intersection of WCO work with matters of importance to CCLEC members and the importance of cultivating customs cooperation within the WCO as well as beyond WCO membership.
The conference showcased a number of presentations of best practice initiatives and progress made on reforms by regional and international Customs administrations including Bermuda, Cayman Islands Jamaica, Turks and Caicos’ Islands, India Customs Service, and the World Customs Organisation. The meeting also received presentations and pledges of support from the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC), the Institute of Export and International Trade, and the Western Europe RILO.
During the week delegates also received reports from the Permanent Secretary and approved the Strategic Plan for 2023 to 2026 and the Work Plan for the current year. Members reaffirmed their commitment to ratifying the Treaty which will transition CCLEC into the Caribbean Customs Organisation (CCO) by the end of 2023. Meanwhile, St. Lucia advised the meeting of their government’s recent decision to ratify the CCO Treaty.
The meeting was deemed to be an overwhelming success and the Director and staff of the Customs Border Control Service were praised for being excellent host and going beyond the call of duty in ensuring that all the delegates were well treated and served with a good dose of Cayman Kind. The former Collector Mr. Carlon Powery was specially recognized during the Opening Ceremony for his long and distinguished service to the CCLEC.