On 20 July, at the invitation of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Vice-Chair for East and Southern Africa (ESA) region, and the Commissioner General of Zimbabwe Revenue Authority, WCO Secretary General joined other Directors General of Customs and officials of the region to observe the virtual launch of a new website for the Regional Intelligence Liaison Office Eastern and Southern Africa (RILO ESA).
The RILO ESA website is an initiative by the region in collaboration with Global Trade Solutions (GTS), South Africa, a private sector company that provides solutions and consulting services to the international trade and supply chain community. The website has both public and private portals and is foreseen to complement the existing communication tools utilised by RILO ESA for collecting and analysing data, and to share information to enhance customs enforcement.
In his opening speech, the WCO Secretary General emphasised the profound role of RILOs in fostering Customs cooperation through information gathering, analysis and intelligence sharing, and noted their importance in supporting Customs administrations at this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic to combat illicit trading and prevent criminal organisations from exploiting the international trade supply chain. The WCO Secretary General mentioned the crucial role played by RILOs in joining member countries to support the WCO “STOP” operation on medical goods and supplies. The WCO Secretary General encouraged the RILO ESA to use the website to enhance its regional enforcement network, share best practices and global trends on crimes, and continue to support the WCO global RILO network.
The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (ZIMRA) Commissioner General, and host of the RILO ESA, officially launched the RILO ESA Website: www.wcoesarilo.org and welcomed this event as a historic and prestigious milestone for the region. The launch was supported by a representative of GTS.
Story by: Riaan de Lange