BAFA organises study visit in Malta for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia on building capacity in the area of customs procedures
On 29 and 30 April 2019, BAFA, in the framework of the EU COARM Outreach Project, organised a study visit in Valletta, Malta for 13 participants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. The study visit was prepared with support from the Customs Department of Malta and was designed to build capacity among representatives from the customs services and linked security authorities from the three partner countries. The activity aimed to provide participants with knowledge and practical insights into how customs procedures are carried out in EU Member States, in order to efficiently control arms transfers at ports of entry. It also included a visit to the Malta Freeport Terminals, where participants could learn about risk management and scanning procedures on site from customs officials. Special attention was also paid to commodity identification and transit and transshipment controls. The activity provided a forum for exchanging good practices and experiences among practitioners from the Northern African Mediterranean countries, Malta, and two EU experts from Germany and Estonia.
This activity is part of the fourth phase of a project implemented by BAFA since 2010, on the promotion of effective arms export controls, and is based on EU Council Decision 2018/101. The project aims at promoting improved controls on arms transfers in third countries, in accordance with the principles set out in Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and in the ATT, and to support third countries’ efforts, at national and regional levels, to render trade in conventional weapons more responsible and transparent, and to mitigate the risk of arms diversion to unauthorized users. As part of this project, BAFA is tasked with assisting third countries in drafting, updating and implementing legislative and administrative measures to establish an effective system of conventional arms export controls, and with training licensing and enforcement officers responsible for the implementation and enforcement of arms transfer controls. Activities also include conducting outreach to third countries’ national arms industries to ensure compliance with arms control regulations and promoting transparency and responsibility in the arms trade. Accession to and ratification of the ATT is encouraged as part of the project. Furthermore, the project draws attention to the risks of arms diversion as well as to mitigation measures to prevent such diversion, both on the part of exporting and importing states.