The OPCW, in cooperation with the National Authority of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, organised a subregional training course for customs officers from East and Southern African States Parties on the Technical Aspects of the Transfers Regime of the Chemical Weapons Convention held in Addis Ababa, from 1 to 4 March 2016. The course was held in collaboration with the World Customs Organisation (WCO) and was attended by 37 participants from 14 States Parties.*
The course designed in cooperation with the WCO comprised a mix of presentations, practical exercises and group discussions. Customs officials were trained in detecting and identifying of scheduled chemicals. They discussed experiences and good practices in controlling trade in chemicals as well as examined and shared practices of reporting on imports and exports. The course was conducive to reinforcing subregional cooperation between the customs of the represented States Parties which would contribute to the effective implementation of the CWC.
Mr Samuel Halala, Director General of the Ethiopian Chemical and Construction Inputs Industry Development Institute, in his closing remarks emphasized the important role of the African region in the implementation of the provisions of Chemical Weapons Convention and expressed his hope that a more concerted effort would be taken on the part of African States Parties to fulfil their international commitments under the CWC. He stated the customs as a key partner in this endeavour and the knowledge the participants have gained from the training course which will be useful for their implementation of the CWC transfers regime and its effective application.
*Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.