27 February - 8 March 2019, Tirana, Albania: Tirana International Airport hosted the first basic training on Air Cargo Control within the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP). The training brought together thirteen customs and border control officers and civil aviation representatives as part of the training conducted by UNODC and WCO trainers, with the aim of supporting the establishment of a specialized Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at this Airport.
The training introduced different topics mainly focusing on interdiction techniques and risk indicators that can be used at airports to identify and intercept illicit shipments including narcotics.
The training activity was welcomed by the Head of the Airport Customs House and the Chief of the Airport Police Commissariat who emphasized the importance of the Air Cargo Programme for Albania. The counterparts expressed their hope that this new initiative would follow the good example of the Container Control Programme's existing operations at Durres Port.
One session of the two-week training was also attended by the Ambassador of France in Albania. In her address, the Ambassador highlighted the need for an enhanced collaboration and exchange of information between Customs, Aviation and other agencies in order to facilitate trade more effectively and develop collective action to meet the emerging challenges in the air cargo and mail supply chain.
The theoretical part of the training was followed by three practical working days spent at the cargo terminal and the apron. Many practical issues were analyzed together in order to demonstrate that further strengthening of the inter-agency cooperation would help processing the goods in the supply chain faster, safer and more efficiently.
Currently, Tirana Air Cargo Unit is the only one established in South Eastern Europe within the framework of the CCP and is funded by the Government of France.