Border Force honoured with six awards as part of the 51st annual, International Customs Day.
This year’s ceremony, which was hosted by HMRC in Parliament Street, saw five Border Force teams and one individual all presented with ‘Certificates of Merit’ from the World Customs Organisation (WCO), in recognition of their world-class work in protecting the UK border.
‘Certificates of Merit’ are awarded by the WCO every year to recognise customs staff who have excelled and gone above and beyond in their customs role.
Each year the Secretary-General of the WCO, Kunio Mikuriya, chooses a theme to be used as the basis for nominations. This year’s theme is ‘Communication and sharing information for better co-operation’.
Director General of Border Force, Sir Charles Montgomery, said:
The security of the border is at the heart of everything Border Force does and these awards recognise the incredible work staff do every day in protecting the country.
We are making improvements across Border Force and are working to become the best border force in the world. These awards demonstrate that many parts of Border Force are already world class.
To be recognised internationally is a fantastic achievement and testament to the work of Border Force officers on the frontline.
This year’s Border Force winners of the ‘Certificates of Merit’ are:
The Border Force National Intelligence Hub operates 24/7, 365 days a year, and is the single point of contact for receiving border-related intelligence from the UK and overseas. Their work has contributed to significant enforcement successes, including the seizure of large amounts of controlled drugs, smuggled cash and tobacco.
The Freight Search of Vehicle Training Team have developed bespoke training on how to detect concealments in freight vehicles, which they have shared with customs and border officials both in the UK and internationally. This has led to excellent feedback and recognition for their world-class work, notably from French and German colleagues.
The Belfast 2013 World Police and Fire Games Team contributed largely to the successful delivery of a safe and secure Games. This event attracts 10,000 police, fire, prison and customs officers from around the world and was held in Northern Ireland last year. As part of their communication strategy, the team ensured that individual letters were sent to competitors with bespoke instructions around procedures for bringing firearms into the UK to use in the Games. They also ensured that guidance setting out border-related arrangements for the Games was published online.
The Border Force Counter-Proliferation Team delivers both national and international training on the intricacies of strategic goods customs licensing. Strategic goods are military goods or civilian goods, which can be used for military purposes. The Heathrow-based team’s advice is regularly sought by colleagues at home and internationally.
The Border Force International Data Sharing Team who have been responsible for a number of recent data-sharing agreements between the UK and countries around the world to reduce border security risks. These agreements are essential for national security and can be used to better identify the movements of high risk people or goods. In the past 12 months the team has successfully agreed important data sharing agreements with Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
Grant Miller is a Heathrow-based Border Force senior officer who leads on work under the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and is recognised internationally as a source of quality advice and support. Grant’s knowledge and expertise in this field has helped raise the profile of Border Force’s CITES enforcement work among the general public.
To mark the inaugural meeting of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Council on 26 January 1953, each year the UK joins with other Customs administrations from around the world to celebrate International Customs Day.