New Regional Intelligence Liaison Office Eastern and Southern Africa website launched


The exchange of intelligence at national, regional and international levels is a critical mechanism employed by Customs authorities to create conditions for more efficient enforcement actions and controls and to secure the optimum use of available resources. To this end, the WCO has established since 1987 a network of “Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices” (RILOs) with the aim of promoting cooperation between Customs administrations that are members of WCO, in relation to the fight to trans-national crimes, through information gathering, analysis and intelligence sharing, as well as through the sharing of best practices and global trends on these crimes. Each participating WCO Member designates a National Contact Point (NCP) of RILO.

Dissemination of information occurs via the Global Customs Enforcement Network (CEN), a digital database offering the possibility to share and disseminate information on customs offences in a timely, reliable and secure manner through a secure, web-based communication platform called CENcomm that is accessible uniquely to customs officers and other authorised law-enforcement agencies dealing with cross-border procedures. Information shared on the CEN is collected by Customs and other border agencies during enforcement operations. This information is integrated into risk analysis processes of Customs and used to predict criminal tendencies and behaviours by identifying new criminal techniques and patterns in the customs sector.

Today the RILO network has grown to 11 offices providing effective coverage throughout six WCO regions. The RILO ESA covers the Eastern and Southern Africa Region and its website is set to complement the existing communication tools used for collecting and analysing data, and to share information to enhance customs enforcement. The recently launched RILO ESA website is also expected to enhance the capacity of 19 countries in the ESA Region (Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to share intelligence and combat smuggling, which is endemic to the region.