World Customs Organization. Customs officers are responsible for ensuring that imported and exported goods are properly identified

Customs officers are responsible for ensuring that imported and exported goods are properly identified, and seized if stolen or smuggled. The functions and legal powers of customs agencies vary from country to country. In 1950 the Customs Cooperation Council (now the World Customs Organization, or WCO) was established to secure "the highest degree of harmony and uniformity in customs systems."

The functions of the WCO include:

1) proposing practical means of attaining this goal; preparing draft conventions and amendments to conventions and recommending their adoption by interested governments;

2) making recommendations to ensure the uniform interpretation and application of conventions;

3) ensuring the circulation of information regarding customs regulations and procedures;

4) providing information or advice on customs matters to interested governments;

5) cooperating with other intergovernmental organizations as regards matters within its competence.

The illicit traffic in cultural objects was one of the issues addressed by the Nairobi Convention of 1977 on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation, and Repression of Customs Offences. The growth in cases of smuggling, fraud and theft involving works of art and antiquities invited members of the organization "to develop mutual administrative assistance in combating smuggling and other fraud involving works of art and antiquities," and emphasized the importance of "cooperation with the International Criminal Police organization (INTERPOL) and with the other authorities and organizations concerned."

The State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation also welcomed the initiative, and saw it as important for preventing the illegal import and export of cultural objects. The development of international guidelines, which will deal with the protection of cultural heritage of each nation, will improve the quality of cooperation among Customs Administrations in the field of combating illegal cross-border trade with these cultural objects.

8.2.1. Answer the following questions:

1) What are customs officers responsible for?

2) What is the World Customs Organization?

3) When was it founded?

4) What are its main functions?

5) Is the State Customs Committee of the Russian Federation the member of the WCO? If it is so, then prove it by the facts from the text.

6) Why are the illicit traffic of cultural objects are so important for the members of the WCO?

8.2.2. Give English equivalents of the following collocations:



культурное наследие, незаконная торговля, приветствовать инициативу, предотвратить нелегальный ввоз, важность сотрудничества, достижение цели

8.2.3. Match the words and their explanation (one item has been done for you):

illicit (adj) a. an act of deceitful behavior for the purpose of gain, which may be punishable by law
heritage (n) b. the main points about something which is to be dealt with
draft (n) c. the act of stealing
guideline (n) d. something which is passed down over many years within a family or nation
fraud (n) e. against a law or a rule
theft (n) f. a rough plan
mutual (adj) g. equally shared by each one

8.3. Scan through the text and try to translate it using the dictionary.

Text B

Australia And Lebanon Strengthen Ability To Fight Money

Laundering And Terrorist Financing

Australia and Lebanon have agreed to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism, further expanding the international financial intelligence network, the Minister for Justice and Customs, announced today.

"Signing this memorandum of understanding is another important step in the establishment of an international network to uncover the financing of crime and terrorism, money laundering and other serious crimes, and complements the strong relationship already in place between the two countries' enforcement agencies," one of the officials said.

This is the 21st such agreement signed by Australia and the 10th established this year. Australia already has agreements with Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Guernsey, Korea, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the USA, Vanuatu and Venezuela.

The agreements will have a significant impact on the identification and investigation of criminal activity.

The Minister for Justice and Customs noted that Australia had also recently enacted regulations under the Extradition Act 1988 which declare Lebanon to be an extradition country. The regulations were made on a non-treaty basis and allow Australia to receive and consider extradition requests from Lebanon.



8.3.1. Say whether the following statements are true or false:

1) Australia and Latvia have agreed to exchange financial intelligence to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

2) This is the 21st such agreement signed by Australia and the 11th established this year.

3) Australia already has agreements with Belgium, Canada, Denmark.

4) The purpose of this memorandum is to establish an international network to uncover the financing of crime and terrorism and money laundering

5) The agreements has already had a significant impact on the identification and investigation of criminal activity.


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