Capacity Building Workshop of SEAP Customs Officers on Controlling Illegal Trade in Chemicals and Waste and Joint Meeting of Ozone and Customs Officers Held in Lao PDR
17 April 2014
Based on the capacity building needs identified customs officers at the 2nd Network Workshop of the Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Waste (REN), the Capacity Building Workshop of Customs Officers on Controlling Illegal Trade in Chemicals and Waste in Southeast Asia and Pacific countries (SEAP) was held on 1-3 April 2014 in parallel with the Network Meeting of Southeast Asia (SEA) National Ozone Officers.
The customs capcity building workshop was jointly organized by UNEP OzonAction Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP) and REN in collaboration with the Government of Lao PDR through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), and attended by 16 customs officers and environmental officers from Southeast Asia countries including Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand and Vietnam. Resource persons from UNEP, Netherlands and Norway, also attended the workshop with the Secretariat of Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions and World Customs Organization’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Office for Asia and the Pacific (WCO RILO AP) participating via video presentations.
The aim of the workshop was to address the capacity building and information exchange needs identified by REN earlier capacity building activities.
Moreover, back to back with the customs workshop and ozone network meeting, one-day Joint Meeting of Ozone Officers and Customs Officers was also convened by UNEP CAP and REN on 4 April 2014. The Joint Meeting aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the national ozone units and customs agencies for better management of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) trade, and monitoring illegal trade ODS as well as chemicals and wastes.
It  workshop noted that Southeast Asia was increasingly considered a hot destination region for illegal shipments of chemicals and waste, but only a few countries has set up structures and mechanisms in customs to fight against the illegal trafficking. The customs officers were facing challenges in information and intelligence sharing, expertise, national legislation, capacity and financial resources, balancing trade facilitation and control of suspicious shipments and awareness raising. It was recommended to improve information & intelligence sharing among the countries within and outside the region and to use effective regional/national approach to solve the problem including training workshops and awareness raising activities. UNEP will continue to provide technical support to countries based on the countries’ needs identified in the workshop.