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Chemical works

Exchanges of a strategic nature cover:

  • weapons of mass destruction (WMD),

  • conventional weapons,

  • related materials likely to be used:

    • for the purposes of their design,

    • of their development,

    • of their manufacture

    • or their use,

    • and their vectors.


The  United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540 , adopted in 2004 with a view to combating the trafficking and smuggling of WMD and related materials, emphasizes the need to put in place and institute appropriate and effective mechanisms for the control of export, transit and transhipment of these products. Although it is essential to fight against the trafficking of goods of a strategic nature and customs constitute the first and last line of defense at the national level, the mission which is devolved to customs administrations in this context does not remain less particularly difficult. The WCO has taken a number of initiatives to help Customs administrations meet this challenge.

In 2016, the Ad Hoc Project on ACES became a long-term program. This change in status has broadened its scope and the program is now structured around the following 6 main axes:

  1. Organizing train-the-trainer workshops to accredit experts

  2. The provision of training dedicated to ACES, within the framework of the WCO Course Program

  3. The implementation of the STRATComm communication platform 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year  

  4. Organizing other fraud enforcement operations

  5. The intensification of awareness-raising and information activities for businesses

  6. The development of a reporting system for ACES-related seizures in CEN

The ACES Program is a continuation of the ACES Project, launched in 2013. It builds on the achievements of the Project, which include:

  • The organization of awareness seminars  

  • The development of a complete training course on ACES specially designed for customs  

  • The coordination of a worldwide fraud repression operation in the field of ACES (Cosmo).


As part of the ACES Project, the WCO has developed a  Implementation guide  detailed information on ACES with a view to assisting Members in their efforts to design, revise and implement their own control systems and procedures for this type of goods, and to provide, at the same time, a framework for reference for the training course.

Source :

Program on the Application of Strategic Exchange Controls (ACES)

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