Photo taken on May 29, 2015 shows confiscated ivory to be destroyed at Beijing Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Beijing, capital of China. (LI XIN / XINHUA)
China will further improve customs inspections and step up international cooperation on combating the smuggling of endangered species and solid waste as it moves to bear stronger responsibilities in addressing global issues, customs officers said.
Ni Yuefeng, head of the General Administration of Customs of China, said China customs has "zero tolerance" for smuggling endangered species or solid waste and attaches high importance to working with international enforcement departments to fight it
Ni Yuefeng, head of the General Administration of Customs of China, said China customs has "zero tolerance" for smuggling endangered species or solid waste and attaches high importance to working with international enforcement departments to fight it.
He made the remarks at the debriefing of Operation Thunderball & Demeter V, a pair of joint international operations that focus on cracking down on the smuggling of endangered species and solid waste.
The debriefing started in Shenzhen on Tuesday and will run through Thursday.
Sun Zhijie, director general of the anti-smuggling bureau of GACC, said China customs has used advanced technologies in past operations, which have significantly enhanced efficiency. For example, instead of manual inspections to detect ivory smuggling, customs has introduced artificial intelligence technology to help the process.
Over the first 10 months of this year, customs probed 444 cases related to the smuggling of endangered species and products, with the amount totaling 1,237 metric tons, Sun said. It also dealt with 317 solid waste smuggling cases over the same period, involving 696,900 tons of waste, he added.
China customs will further strengthen risk management and intensify inspections to combat smuggling activities, Sun said. It will also work more closely with law enforcement departments of other countries, especially places of source and transit, as well as international organizations and NGOs, to crack the entire smuggling chain, he said.
China has played an important role in Operation Thunderball & Demeter V. In the international operation for endangered species, held from June 4 to 30, participants from 109 countries cracked a total of 1,828 cases. China customs contributed to 73 of those cases, which involved a total 1.64 tons of endangered species and their products.
Later, during the solid waste international operation from Sept 2 to 30, a total of 232 cases were cracked, of which 85 cases involved China customs, which seized roughly 1,500 tons of waste.
"Through the operations, China customs has shown its commitment to protecting the environment," said Kunio Mikuriya, secretary-general of the World Customs Organization.
"China customs has been successful in promoting international cooperation on addressing global risks and concerns," he said, adding that the country can also mobilize its technology to protect the environment.
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