On 18-20 August 2021, the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace, Disarmament and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNLIREC), with the financial support of the Arms Trade Treaty Voluntary Trust Fund (VFT), held a virtual workshop for Chilean customs officers to strengthen their capacities to prevent and combat illicit firearms trafficking.

During this three-day workshop, UNLIREC presented the context, characteristics, and trends of illicit trafficking of firearms in Latin America and the Caribbean and identified the methods commonly used for illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms, highlighting the fact that the use of new technologies poses a challenge for national authorities and are increasing the risk of firearms proliferation.

The World Customs Organization (WCO) likewise delivered presentations on intelligence tools available for States; documents associated with international transfers, such as end-user certificates and shipment documentation; document cross-examination techniques and procedures as means to prevent diversion and to identify illicit transfers. Authorities of the National Customs Service also presented relevant cases of illicit firearms trafficking detected by customs officials.

This workshop, in which over 90 customs officers from different parts of the country participated, highlighted the important role played by customs in the prevention and combat of illicit firearms trafficking.