|Regional Governments Endorse Customs Management Program (CMP)|
The Customs Management Program commenced on Monday 23 August 2010 with overwhelming support from the majority of regional governments. During the past two months the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council (CCLEC) has engaged in a road show throughout the region to promote the long awaited program which is designed to enhance the level of professionalism and effectiveness within the Customs services of the region.
The development of the CMP is a major milestone for the region. The timeliness of such a program for Customs could not be more appropriate in light of the implementation of new trade agreements. A recent study to assess the specific needs of CARIFORUM countries implementing their Customs and trade facilitation commitments in the CARIFORUM - European Community Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) concluded that
“there is a very wide divergence in the levels of training given to Customs officers, ranging from no formal training to 15 months of formal training. This clearly has an impact on the efficiency of Customs. Any modernization programme needs to address training, as the impact of new IT systems will be lessened if Customs officers are not trained to a high standard in all customs functions and procedures based on international best practices”
Although CCLEC has spent considerable resources in providing technical training and developing modules for regional Customs Officers over the past decades, the main training goal of the organisation is to provide academic training which will further develop the capacities of administrations to meet the challenges of the future. The CMP will be a vehicle to standardize the management training skills in the region.
The CMP, developed by the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES), University of Canberra in conjunction with the CCLEC, is fully compliant with the World Customs Organization’s Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development (PICARD) competency requirements. CCES, a key member of PICARD, provides a comprehensive and unique range of vocational and postgraduate programs in the field of customs, excise, revenue management, border management and related areas. The program will be delivered jointly by CCES academic staff and CCLEC trainers.
A total of 20 students from seven countries have started the first online component of the program. The second intake will commence in January 2011.