RRA customs officers trained to fight terrorism at borders
Over twenty senior officers and managers in customs participated in a 2-day training to combat illicit trade and terrorism at borders.
Alex Shyaka, the acting deputy commissioner for customs said RRA benefitted a lot in capacity building targeted at fighting illicit trade. he said that the new program "has come as an additional aspect to ensure that we discourage all illicit trade and any form that it comes in."
According to Shyaka, 150 customs officers and 25 customs managers have been trained to fight illicit trade. "We, as customs officers, we not only collect revenues, these days, customs have even changed into border controllers. we not only sit down and wait these people who conduct business to come to our desks.
since the introduction of the single customs territory, Mr. Shyaka says the customs officers even extended to the points of entry and other towns like Dar-es Salaam, Mombasa.
Yoshikiro Kosaka, Manager of JICA and WCO collaboration, chief advisor of trade facilitation and border control projects in EAC commended the East African revenue authorities for making collective efforts in implementing the so-called trade facilitation and border control projects in the East African region in which the program global shield is placed as one the key components.
He recalled that customs play a pivotal role at borders not only for collecting revenues but also for ensuring security and safety of the people while facilitating the legitimate movement of goods and people. he mentioned that "we witness unfortunate incidences happening in the world and cause significant risks to people and their families.
According to Kosaka, these incidences make an imperative for world customs communities to further strengthen efforts to fight against terrorism at borders.
The Program Global Shield (PGS) was launched as one of the concrete initiatives to fight against terrorism by addressing particularly border security related challenges by monitoring the cross border movements of dual use chemicals and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
He stated that five revenue authorities in the EAC have been collectively working according to the recommendations above.
RRA trained PGS trainers for how customs can contribute to secure 'our borders' from the security threats.
The JICA representative said trade facilitation, security and safety are basic elements needed to boost the confidence of private sector.
The Japanese government signed with revenue authorities of the five EAC countries and the former committed to foster security at borders by providing equipments necessary for border controls. he said the 2-day program is timely and important to enhance capacity of customs staff and utilize equipments to be granted by the Japanese government.
Claudien Uzabakiliho, the deputy principle for academics at Rwanda Revenue Authority called customs officers to follow carefully the training and make use of knowledge acquired.
Under the World Customs Organization security program, the role of customs officer in ensuring security starts from Passenger control, the global shield, strategic trade, small arms and light weapons, terrorist financing.
The World Customs Border security requires customs to control the financial flow, prevent money laundering, to make sure the money doesn’t end in terrorism use. By this, the customs will be required to inform other security organs and therefore prohibit illegal entries of either persons or harmful goods.
The world customs border security is said to have been thought after seeing different terrorists’ attacks and that members of World Customs Organisation must adhere to the policy of border security.
Customs officers have authority to check the entry and exit of goods at different borders, withhold taxes especially import duties. by monitoring the goods and people, they can therefore identify precursor chemicals that can be used harmful.