Who We are

The Green Customs Initiative, launched in 2004, is a partnership of international entities cooperating to prevent the illegal trade in environmentally-sensitive commodities and substances and to facilitate their legal trade. Its objective is to enhance the capacity of customs and other relevant border control officers to monitor and facilitate the legal trade and to detect and prevent illegal trade in environmentally sensitive commodities covered by relevant trade related Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and international conventions.

These commodities include ozone depleting substances (ODS), toxic chemicals, hazardous wastes, endangered species and certain living-modified organisms. The objective of Green Customs Initiative is achieved through awareness-raising on all relevant international agreements as well as provision of assistance and tools to the customs community. Green Customs Initiative is designed to complement and enhance existing customs training efforts under the respective agreements.

The Green Customs Initiative provides opportunities for coordinated and cost-effective development of tools, delivery of training and awareness-raising of customs officers and other border control officers through its umbrella partnership involving multiple organisations with diverse mandates. Customs administrations need and regularly request coordinated training such as that delivered under the Green Customs Initiative. Such coordinated training is not provided through other means.

For some of the MEAs involved, Green Customs is the only structured means of interaction with the customs community, as funding is often not available for such outreach activities. Without the intervention of the Green Customs Initiative, customs officers in developing countries and countries with economies in transition would likely have a fragmented and inefficient approach to developing their understanding of the implications of trade-related MEAs and organisations.