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Training seminar: Customs Control of Shipments of Dual-Use Goods and Technologies in the Western Balkans
 
A training seminar for border customs officers nominated by five countries from the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Serbia and Montenegro) took place at Crystal Palace Hotel in Sofia on 5-6 October 2005. The seminar focused on issues of strengthening border customs controls on shipments of dual-use goods and technologies.

The seminar was jointly organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary and the Center for the Study of Democracy as part of the outreach programmes of the States Participants in the Australian Group, an informal arrangement aiming to minimise the risk of assisting chemical and biological weapons proliferation. Experts from Australia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Sweden and the United States of America delivered presentations.

The purpose of the joint outreach programme of Bulgaria and Hungary is to assist the on-going activities of the governments in the Western Balkans to strengthen the capabilities of their respective border customs agencies to contribute to the global efforts to prevent acts of further proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. This is in response to the common concerns that dual-use goods and technologies, toxic chemicals or bio toxins could be used for production of weapons of mass destruction or terrorist purposes.

The seminar was opened by Mr. Lyubomir Kyuchukov, Deputy Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who assured the participants that Bulgaria is determined to take the necessary measures to strengthen the barriers against proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. David Hooks, expert from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement made a presentation of the system of control of possible dual-use goods and technologies and said that it is the most challenging one to enforce because of their commercial use. He also gave a positive response to the question “Could the American system be applied in an efficient way in the Western Balkans?” and added that the key to this is the implementation of three major steps that are the very foundation of the export control. Firstly, a centralized clearing house for licensing should be created. Secondly, a strong relationship with the business community should be developed. And thirdly, the export control legislation should have clear objectives and clear enforcement jurisdiction.

Experts from Germany and Hungary also shared their experience and explained in detail how is the export control done within the European Union. The importance of having a centralized database system was highlighted again as well as an earlier and better preparation and data processing of the cargo. As the topic affects the industry a great deal, there was a representative of the private sector in Bulgaria – Mr. Borislav Georgiev, a business expert. He outlined the importance of actively working in partnership with the institutions and urged them for better transparency and predictability of export control. In the end, the participants were able to witness methods of fighting cross-border crime and regular checks of people and cargo at the border checkpoint in Kalotina.




Agenda of the seminar (PDF, 41 kb)

Presentations:

Australian Customs Service - John Davies, National Customs Office, Australia(PowerPoint, 96 kb)

Presentation of David Hooks, USA (PowerPoint, 2,8 Mb)

Dual-Use goods and Technologies - a Bulgarian Business View - Borislav Georgiev (PowerPoint, 137 kb)

National Export Control: A Tool to Enforce Non-Proliferation - Dr. Radoslav Deyanov, Bulgarian MFA (PowerPoint, 1,4 Mb)

Risk Analysis – definition, training and application area within National Customs Agency - Dragomir Markov, Bulgarian Customs Agency(PowerPoint, 151 kb)

National Export Control Systems: Tools to Enforce WMD Non-Proliferation - Ian Anthony, SIPRI, Sweden (PowerPoint, 158 kb)

The Development of the Bulgarian National Export Control System - Ivelina Bahchevanova and Christo Atanasov, Ministry of Economy and Energy of Bulgaria (PowerPoint, 181 kb)

Customs Intelligence and Investigation (PowerPoint, 11,9 Mb) - Dragomir Markov, Bulgarian Customs Agency
 
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