Through the Asia / Pacific Security Project, the World Customs Organization (WCO) delivered four national training courses on passenger screening to WCO member customs administrations in that region.
The Government of Japan provided financial support for the training, which was originally scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2020.
The first training course was held in Cambodia in March 2020, with 21 officials participating in the five-day course at the General Department of Customs and Excise (GDCE) headquarters in Phnom Penh.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the remaining three workshops scheduled for Myanmar, Vietnam, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic were rescheduled for late July/early August 2020.
The WCO further reported that modified versions of the course were developed, suitable for virtual delivery.
The changes included the removal of practical elements such as “hands-on” demonstrations, role plays and airport exercises conducted during “face-to-face” training.
Additional videos and a live demonstration of a baggage search were included, to somewhat compensate for the removal of the practical items.
The Myanmar training was delivered to 10 officials from the Customs Department in Yangon.
The number of participants was limited due to social distancing requirements.
The training for Vietnam was conducted virtually, as a webinar, with 50 officials participating in the training from their workplaces across Vietnam, including Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Kien Giang, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and the Customs Headquarters in Hanoi.
The last training course given was for the Lao Department, with 18 officers joining the training from the headquarters in Vientiane.
“The feedback received from both the participants in the training and the senior officials of the four member customs administrations was very positive. In particular, they recognized the extensive knowledge and experience added by the participation of the Canadian Border Services Agency and Australian Border Force officers who co-facilitated the training, ”said the WCO.