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International workshop strengthens controls on trade in endangered wildlife

HM Customs is currently hosting a three-day workshop on the control of trade in endangered wildlife in collaboration with a number of other international authorities.

The workshop, hosted at the University of Gibraltar, was opened on Tuesday by the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and introduced by Dr John Cortes, Minister with Responsibility for the Environment.

It was held in collaboration with the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) Centre of Excellence and the Government of Switzerland and with the support of the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Secretariat.

The workshop aims to foster the collaboration between the CITES Management Authorities and the Customs Administrations for improved control of trade in wildlife.

The workshop promotes a common approach of the CITES Management Authorities and Customs Administrations based on modern and automated trade procedures and Customs clearance processes in line with the requirements of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement which came into force recently.

The workshop includes presentations by the Collector of Customs John Rodriguez, UNCTAD, international Customs administrations and other senior CITES Management Authorities covering all the continents.

Mr Rodriguez highlighted that although the abuse of CITES is not a marked problem in Gibraltar, the close links between Customs and scientific authorities worldwide, together with the introduction of automated risk-management systems and targeted inspections, will deliver coordinated border controls in line with International recommendations and best practice.

Pic by Johnny Bugeja