The customs verification portal is one of RDF’s newest systems that looks to tackle mineral verification using the MCAS system. With a partnership with GIZ/BMZ, the Project bagan in January 2018 and has made incredible strides.
In April 2018, RDF staff along with our government partner represenatives from Ghana and Sierra Leone attended the 2018 Forum on responsible mineral supply chains in Paris. One of the forum sessions focused on the challenges related to customs verification of mineral imports and exports. It is during this session that RDF presented on the Customs Verification Portal (CVP). We spoke of the numerous requests government officials would recieve from importing countries wishing to verify the shipmnent of minerals that had just arrived within their borders. Refining companies alike sent their requests through the country’s Online Repository in hopes of verifying the exporter of minerals as part of their due diligence. RDF spoke of the solution of the CVP that is designed specificlaly for customs officials as a way to verify export permits directly from the country’s export permitting system.
After a successful session, interest grew in the CVP as well as RDF system such as MCAS. The World Customs Organization (WCO) requested that we write an article in their June 2018 newsletter that focused on Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), and efforts working towards addressing IFFs and its links to the smuggling of minerals such as gold. The CVP was featured in an article co-written by Aasmund Anderson, RDF’s Director and Janne Kaiser, GIZ’ Extractive Governance and Organizational Development Advisor that spoke about the importance of such a tool for customs officials and its larger contributions in combating mineral smuggling and IFFs.