Suva, Fiji, September 09, 2021– The Oceania Customs Organisation was part of the INCB 4TH Annual International Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the Trafficking of Dangerous Synthetic Opioids, Fentanyls and Related Precursors through Postal, Express Mail, Courier and Air Cargo Services held last week.
OCO Manager Operations, Mrs. Irma Daphney Stone also presented at the meeting, sharing the latest trends of interception of illicit drugs and non-scheduled drugs by OCO members for the one-year period from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
The meeting hosted from Vienna, Austria included experts from 29 government agencies worldwide including representatives of the transport sector, as well as regional and international operational organisations such as the World Customs Organisations (WCO) and the United Postal Union (UPU).
Experts were encouraged to have a comprehensive discussion and make broad-based recommendations to combat threats and address the UN Sustainable Development Goals to effectively counter the global drug problem.
The EGM focused on international postal, express courier and air cargo threats and trafficking of dangerous synthetic opioids, fentanyl and related precursors.
One of the outcomes of the EGM is the development of the “Practical Guidance for the Postal and Express Couriers on Prevention and Interdiction of Non-Medical Synthetic Opioids and Fentanyls”.
The guide was developed in consultation with stakeholders such as WCO, UPU and the public and private sector who shared best practices. This is a living document and is subject to upgrades with the dynamics of trade.
EGM participants also shared the results of the Operation “New Horizon” (Ops NH) that was conducted as a recommendation of the preceding EGM.
Ops NH involved around 165 personnel in a 3-week operation that resulted in vast seizures of non-psychoactive substances such as Tramadol and Tapentadol.
The operation was a success in dismantling the illicit manufacturers and illegal movement of the dangerous substances.
Meanwhile, the event also provided an opportunity for bilateral meetings. OCO held a bilateral meeting with the US Postal Inspection Services to discuss potential partnership in the enforcement field.
The US Postal Services renders their service in most parts of the Northern Pacific and this EGM provided an opportunity to foster partnership with the private sector.
For more information, queries or interview requests, please email MediaOCO@ocosec.org
About OCO: OCO is a grouping of 23 customs administrations in the Pacific region. It facilitates regional cooperation, information sharing and capacity building of its members with the overall target of supporting economic growth and improved border security in the Pacific.