The Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) is a multilateral regional organization dedicated to improving the overall professionalism of its members.
The CCLEC was established in the early 1970s as an informal association of Customs administrations within the Caribbean region. The principal objectives of the Council in these early years were the exchange of information on smuggling and helping the smaller regional administrations adjust to the new threat of organized drug trafficking through the region.
From these early beginnings the Council slowly established itself through a growing membership base and an increasing diversification into other areas of Customs business.
In 1989, the members of the Council agreed to formalize their exchange of information through the adoption of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding mutual assistance and cooperation for the prevention and repression of customs offenses in the Caribbean zone. At that time 21 countries signed the MOU but this number has grown to 36 signatories.
The CCLEC comprises 38 Customs Administrations of which 36 are signatories to the CCLEC Memorandum of Understanding.The Membership comprises Customs administration from the Caribbean and Latin America as well as Canada, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
The authority for directing the activities of CCLEC rests with the Council. An Executive Committee (EXCO), elected by the Council, makes program recommendations to the Council.
In 1995, the Government of St Lucia and CCLEC signed an agreement for the establishment of a Permanent Secretariat in St. Lucia and in 2008 the status of international organization was conferred on CCLEC by the Government of St Lucia.
The Permanent Secretary and supporting staff are responsible for the day-to-day management of CCLEC.