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In the Western Hemisphere, only Guyana and Suriname join Container Control Programme

LOGO Unodc Guyana and Suriname are the first two Caribbean countries to join the highly successful Container Control Programme (CCP) which works with countries to improve port security and prevent the illegal use of sea containers in drug trafficking and transnational organized criminal activities, such as trafficking in chemicals used in the manufacture of drugs (precursors), smuggling of goods (including counterfeits), tax evasion and possible terrorist acts.

This week, the two countries signed Memoranda of Understanding with UNODC that will see the establishment of CCP Joint Port Control Units in Port Georgetown (the John Fernandes Port) and Nieuwe Haven Port respectively.

The Caribbean has become increasingly vulnerable to the illicit flow of drugs from South America to North America and Europe via maritime containers, particularly as Latin American States tighten border control and security. Given their geographic location, the Guyana and Suriname container trade faces significant threats from transnational organized crime.

The Joint Port Control Units in the two countries will strengthen the control of containers entering and leaving the ports, improve the coordination, analysis and exchange of information in real time, share human and technical resources to avoid duplicity of activities and facilitate safe foreign commerce. Container inspection in the two ports will be carried out by a team trained and equipped to work together to systematically target high-risk containers with minimal disruption to the free flow of legitimate trade.

A two-week training programme will be conducted for Guyanese and Surinamese officers drawn from relevant government agencies from 1-12 October, and it is expected that the Joint Port Control Units in both countries will commence operations in mid-October. Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are also expected to establish similar units later this year.