OSCE Border Management Staff College hosts regional training course by World Customs Organization



Practical exercise on use of the Programme Global Shield’s presumptive chemical identification test kits, Dushanbe, 30 January 2015. (OSCE/Alexander Eliseev)

DUSHANBE, 30 January 2015 – The OSCE Border Management Staff College hosted the World Customs Organization’s (WCO) Programme Global Shield (PGS) regional training course from 26 to 30 January 2015 in Dushanbe.

Twenty-seven customs officers from customs administrations of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Tajikistan participated in the training.

During the training course, participants got in-depth knowledge on Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) identification and recognition, dual-use precursor chemicals used in explosives production, and customs risk assessment methodologies. International and national policies and measures to reduce risks posed by chemicals were also discussed during the training course.

Trainees gained hands-on experience with PGS presumptive chemical test kits and devices that enable law enforcement agencies and the military to obtain accurate identification of chemicals, explosives and hazardous materials in seconds even through sealed translucent containers. Upon completing the training, participants became certified users of the device.

“This course is one of a series of training events designed to help secure the global supply chain and create a network of PGS experts around the world,” said Acting Director of the OSCE Border Management Staff College, Flemming Hansen Splidsboel.

WCO’s Programme Global Shield Programme Manager Jeffrey Wickett said: "Programme Global Shield is a regional effort to counter the illicit diversion and trafficking of precursor chemicals used by terrorist and other criminal organizations to manufacture explosive devices."

In parallel with the PGS training the Second PGS Operational Coordination Meeting (OCM) took place from 28-29 January. In the course of the meeting PGS co-ordinators from Afghanistan, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Tajikistan reported about progress on their activities conducted in close co-operation with the national customs administrations.

WCO/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Container Control Programme (CCP) regional co-ordinators for Central Asia and South Asia, as well as country co-ordinators for Afghanistan and Pakistan shared the experience of the CCP in conducting law enforcement operations.

On the last day of the meeting participating Customs Administrations suggested drafting a plan for the second phase implementing the PGS operations.

It was also decided that the Operational Coordination Meeting will be held on a quarterly basis to report results of operations and collaboratively plan the next operational activities.