I attended one of your courses some time ago in which the presenters referred to our Border Protection system and identified the three main agencies who were responsible for protecting our borders as:a.Customs (HMRC H.M. Revenue & Customs)b.Immigration (Home Office)c. Police (Special Branch)Is this still the case because we are aware that changes are taking place through the growth of supply chain security systems such as AEO (Authorised Economic Operator) and the U.S. CT-PAT ( Customs and Trade Partnership against Terrorism) and would like to feel that we are up to date?

The course you referred to was probably our one day course ‘Authorised Economic Operator’ which focuses on supply chain security. Two of the three agencies you refer to have changed in some way since the course you attended was held. The Home Office formed the UK Border Agency in April 2008 with the aim of bringing together the work previously carried out by the Border and Immigration Agency, Customs detection work at the border from HM Revenue & Customs and UK Visa services from the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
On October 2nd 2006 Special Branch (SO12) and Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13) of the Metropolitan Police Service were restructured to form the new Counter Terrorism Command (SO15)
The Home Office signed a contract in November 2007 with ‘Trusted Borders’ a consortium of companies led by Raytheon Systems Ltd. to develop and implement the nation’s ‘e-borders’ project, an advanced border control and security programme. These and other changes indicate the seriousness with which government and regulatory authorities view the terrorist threat which is summarized as follows:-

 

  • Terrorists
  • Oganised crime gangs
  • Smuggling
  • The spread of animal diseases (Bio-terrorism)
  • Counterfeit goods

Revision of the EC Community Customs Code and particularly its Security element have produced major efforts within the Community amongst the various agencies in harmonizing procedures and such phrases as ‘Strengthening our borders’ ‘Securing our borders’ and ‘Managing our borders’ are commonplace. Many of the target plan points of the UK Border Agency relate to Immigration, asylum decisions, foreign nationals identity cards, Iris recognition immigration system etc. but Pre departure messaging and pre-arrival messaging for goods in the supply chain connecting us to countries outside the EC are forecast to come into play in the near future, although technical and complex IT challenges have still to be met.
The UK Border Agency web site is www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk

 

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