MOA connects four Institutions
“We in Vanuatu Customs need to connect with Immigration, Police, Quarantine and all other agencies that work together with a similar interest in the movement of people and goods. Customs must connect and people must connect to ensure a smooth flow, a safe flow and a lawful flow of goods and people and their security across our borders”.
Director of Customs Ben Leeshi made the statement in his speech in the presence of the Minister of Finance and Economic Management, Moana Carcasses and Senior Officers representing all four institutions to mark the World’s Customs Organisation Day on January 26.
He said this year’s “connectivity” is vital to make sure that Customs manage all illicit activities so that all law breakers are brought in to meet the full force of the law.
That is why the four institutions comprising Customs, Police, Immigration and Quarantine signed a Memorandum of Agreement on January 26 to “connect” through their operations. “This MOA is important to ensure that the movement of people and goods are safe and in line with the law. Where Customs is not available then its primary responsibilities are handed over to the Police to carry out on its behalf”, Leeshi said.
Another important aspect of the MOA is information connectivity. “We have not been sharing sufficient information among ourselves and we need to do more from now on at national level, regional level as well as at international level”, he said.
“As we celebrate this theme as the ‘Year of Connectivity’, let us think this about this phase of people’s connectivity, institution connectivity and information connectivity”.
He said the rapid phase of globalization in recent years has reshaped the market place. “Those things that we believe we know are changing fast and we have to do our best to catch up to stay parallel with these changes at the border if we are to continue to carry out our duties effectively”, he said.
“On the other hand if we do not make the effort to move with the times then we are going to lack behind and at the same time allow those illegal activities and goods and illegal aliens to penetrate our safety net at the border to come into the country”.
The World Congress of Customs Organisation met for the first time in Brussels in the Kingdom of Belgium on January 26 of 1953.
The WCO has since then grown to 177 members worldwide and Vanuatu is also a member. “Customs and stakeholders and business enterprises and those that have businesses with Customs must connect to make sure of a smooth, lawful flow of cargo and people across our borders”, he said.