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Permanent Secretary of the Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council, Claude Paul, says the Caribbean nations are forming a new entity, the Caribbean Customs Organisation, with the aim of better serving the region in matters of customs administration and enforcement.
He was speaking during a meeting of the CCLEC executives held in Antigua this week,
The CCO agreement has been approved by Antigua and Barbuda, making it one of the first countries in the region to do so.
The CCLEC’s 38 members are collaborating on mutual assistance, capacity building, and information sharing.
The organization’s objective is to aid the customs departments in the region to fulfill their mandates with regards to revenue collection, trade facilitation, enforcement, and compliance.
The CCLEC, which has been in operation since the early 1970s, is transitioning into a treaty organization and changing its name to the CCO.
This shift is expected to enhance the efficacy of the organization as it will achieve international recognition and have the authority to undertake certain actions that were not previously possible under its MOU arrangement, such as fostering a better relationship with the international donor community and collaborating more effectively with law enforcement efforts in the region and beyond.
Paul expressed optimism that the remaining two countries will sign the CCO agreement before the end of the year. The establishment of the CCO will also confer UN recognition upon the organization