UNODC: Air Cargo Control Unit opens in Tirana

Thursday, 6 February, 2020

The official opening of the Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) took place at the Tirana International Airport. The event was organized in the framework of the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP), supported by the Governments of France and Germany, and implemented in partnership with the Albanian State Police and Customs Administration.

The event was attended by the senior officials representing the Ministry of Interior, the State Police and the Customs Administration, as well as other partners including the European Union, France, Germany and the United States. The Albanian officials emphasized that this segment of the CCP would further enhance the security and resilience of the global supply chain through a risk-based and multi-layered approach to cargo security and harmonisation of national and international standards. This would also enhance the partnership with other countries with the purpose of developing and adopting cargo security policies and measures that are practical and operable.

In addition, the ceremony marked the signing of the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) on the functioning of the Air Cargo Control Unit by the Directors General of Customs and Police. The document supports cooperation and coordination among all actors involved in border security and standardizing relevant procedures and practices.

The Albanian, UNODC and WCO officials, together with other participants, attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony of the unit's premises located at the cargo terminal of the Tirana International Airport.

The CCP work in the Tirana International Airport is complementary to the large-scale border control intervention supported by the EU, whereby ACCUs and Joint Airport Interdiction Task Forces (JAITFs) are established in three other airports in the region, and other CCP work is implemented throughout the Western Balkans.

Prior to the launch of the ACCU and on the occasion of the visit to the region, the Senior CCP Programme Coordinators from UNODC and WCO visited Pristina and met with senior management of the Customs of Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244) and other counterparts on 5 February, to discuss the programme's implementation in Kosovo to date and the way forward, as well as to provide positive feedback on the progress made so far.