Give Customs the means to accomplish its mission in the fight against drug trafficking – Senate

2022-10-24 22:00:00

The summary

Pursuant to Article 57 of the organic law of 1 August 2001 on finance laws, Albéric de Montgolfier and Claude Nougein, special rapporteurs for the “Public finance management” mission, carried out a budgetary control mission on the Customs organization and resources in the face of drug trafficking.

Three observations led the special rapporteurs to carry out this work. First, the role of Customs in the fight against drug trafficking is often overlooked, even though customs services are responsible for the majority of seizures on national territory. “Border and goods administration”, Customs has a privileged position, at the heart of the main vectors of entry of illicit products into the national territory. However, a certain feeling of discouragement can affect the services in the face of the increasingly threatening scale of the flow of narcotics. How do you know if the seizures are increasing because the efficiency of the services is increasing or because the flows are more and more important? The answer probably lies somewhere in between.

At the end of the work, one conclusion stands out: faced with this threat, and despite the undeniable efforts of the customs services, the means are lacking to identify and hinder the flow of narcotics. Customs must be able to monitor and control a multidimensional border, which is now sea, land, air and even digital, with an increasing role for express and postal freight in supply circuits.

To respond to this and to strengthen its role in the fight against drug trafficking, Customs must respond to a triple imperative: reorganize the workforce to be able to mobilize more customs officers in the fight against illicit products; invest to acquire more efficient material and technical resources; cooperate with all State services to provide a more effective response to drug trafficking, including on the financial side.

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