The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, visited St. Lucia from the 12th to 14th February 2020. During his stay the Secretary General made official visits to the Acting Comptroller of Customs and Excise, Mrs. Anita Montoute and her staff, the Government of St. Lucia and the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council.
The welcome meeting, hosted by the Customs Comptroller and Ministry of Finance, was attended by the Comptroller of Customs, Minister of Commerce and Trade, Hon. Bradley Felix, Deputy PS Finance, Acting Commissioner of Police Milton Desir, Permanent Secretary of CCLEC, Mr. Albert Sandy, administrators and staff of the Inland Revenue Department, Customs and Excise Administrators and staff and other invited guests.
Acting Comptroller of Customs Montoute welcomed Dr. Mikuryia, expressing her thanks for his consideration of St. Lucia for such an important visit. She mentioned various conventions signed, which are being actively enforced by St Lucia, such as the Montreal Protocol on ODS substances, the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the WCO Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC). She mentioned that the St. Lucia Customs and Excise Department continues to collaborate with the WCO and CCLEC to build the capacity of its staff to increase their abilities to facilitate trade through risk management principles and practices while ensuring the control of restricted and prohibited goods and contraband.
The Permanent Secretary of CCLEC welcomed the Secretary General and expressed his thanks to the WCO for the collaboration in Capacity Building, Trade Facilitation among other areas. He stated that CCLEC and the WCO have an established MOU between them which will shortly be reviewed and practically deepened. CCLEC’s Joint Intelligence Office is also the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) for the WCO.
On the 14th SG Mikuriya visited the CCLEC Secretariat where discussion was held on deepening collaboration between CCLEC and the WCO including the synchronization of their strategies in order to better meet member’s needs. In May 2020 CCLEC, the WCO and CARICOM will jointly stage an STCE training course in the Eastern Caribbean to benefit member administrations.