For information only - not an official document

30 March 2012

WCO and INCB join forces to enhance international drug control efforts

BRUSSELS, 30 March (UN Information Service) - The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the Vienna-based International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalize their long-standing cooperation with a view to enhancing international drug control efforts within their respective mandates, thus ensuring a better environment and a safer world for citizens across the globe.

Cooperation between the WCO and the INCB will focus on ensuring the legitimate trade and use of internationally controlled substances, the effective implementation of United Nations treaties and resolutions on narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, and the elaboration of joint strategies for swift action against known and emerging forms of diversion of controlled substances.

"INCB highly values the role of WCO in facilitating the exchange of information and sharing of best practices among national customs authorities, who play a critical role in the functioning of the international drug control system by monitoring global trade in controlled substances," noted the INCB President, Professor Hamid Ghodse. "The Board looks forward to the enhancement of its very constructive cooperation with WCO, which is now formalized by this memorandum of understanding," he added.

"The WCO and the customs community are committed to continue working with the INCB to combat illicit drug and precursor chemical trafficking at borders, thus protecting the health and safety of the world's citizens," said WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya. "This MoU is a powerful tool in our efforts to deal effectively with threats posed by the illicit drugs trade, while securing and facilitating the movement of legitimate goods," he added.

Under the MoU, both the WCO and the INCB also undertake to support within their mandates global initiatives aimed at monitoring international trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, and to promote and facilitate technical assistance and training programmes in these areas, notably through the sharing of best practices and the exchange of information and intelligence.

The INCB is the independent and quasi-judicial United Nations body established in 1968, with a mandate to monitor and promote the implementation of the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances, and the 1988 United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.

Established in 1952 and now the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO also assists Customs authorities worldwide to implement drug control policies and law enforcement programmes that contribute to the fight against the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursor chemicals, of which the WCO Customs Enforcement Network (CEN) plays a key role.

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More information

INCB - International Narcotics Control Board
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5638
Email: secretariat[at]

WCO - World Customs Organization
Telephone: (+32-2) 209-9211
Email: communication[at]