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Empowering Resilience: Combat Against Maritime Drug & Illicit Trafficking TAPA APAC’s insights at the Maritime Security Webinar Co-hosted by PKA and MIMA

On the celebration of 60 years of operations by the Port Klang Authority (PKA) of Malaysia,  Transported Asset Protection Association Asia Pacific (TAPA APAC) participated in the hybrid webinar event titled “Maritime Security: Challenges of a Trading Nation”, co-hosted by PKA and the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA). The event was held on the 1st of August at PKA Headquarters to enhance understanding of the security challenges faced by nations engaged in maritime trade. Mr. Madu Lokan, Executive Director of TAPA APAC, participated in the event together with other dignitaries including First Admiral Maritime who is also the Director Maritime Criminal Investigation Division of Malaysia.

The rise in crime on the seas, particularly drug and illicit trafficking, poses a significant threat with implications that extend beyond borders. Malaysia, in particular, offers lucrative opportunities for syndicates to capitalize on due to its status as a key manufacturing and distribution hub and a prominent transit point. However, these opportunities come with inherent risks and exposure.

With extensive industry experience, Madu provided valuable insights into the challenges encountered in maritime borders and emphasized the crucial role of robust security measures in combatting crime. His expertise highlighted the importance of TAPA Standards, specifically designed for manufacturers and brand owners to enhance security practices and mitigate risks, vulnerabilities, threats, and supply chain loss.

Insider threats contribute significantly to the illicit and counterfeit trade. The increasing prevalence of eCommerce and digital trade in ASEAN has further fuelled the trade in counterfeit goods. Additionally, the need for more visibility in tracking incidents within the complex global network makes it challenging to respond swiftly to disruptions. The existing security framework needs to be revised to detect and deter security threats across various existing and new channels. Furthermore, the lack of technological capabilities and centralized supply chain data hinders source verification.

At the webinar, Madu presented “Crime on Seas: Safeguarding Maritime Borders from Drug & Illicit Trafficking” which highlighted the urgent need for collaboration among law enforcement agencies, port and airport authorities, global standards associations, suppliers, industry stakeholders, and intelligence data providers to detect and deter potential vulnerabilities. The World Customs Organization (WCO) and the mechanisms, like SAFE Framework, play a crucial role in ensuring the proactive adoption of global standards and processes.

Madu emphasized the importance of TAPA Standards, as a key mechanism, which enhance supply chain resilience. Manufacturers and logistics service providers can benefit from implementing TAPA’s library of standards like the Risk Assessment Standard (RAS), Facility Security Requirements (FSR), Trucking Security Requirements (TSR), and Guarding Security Requirements (GSR), especially for high-risk or vulnerable products. Origin airports and seaports can conduct route risk assessments and AVSEC threat assessments while implementing TAPA FSR, TSR, and GSR Standards. Similarly, destination airports and seaports can enhance security monitoring through these standards. Adopting and implementing such standards for supply chain security, resilience and sustainability combined with the implementation of legal and enforcement measures are vital to choke the supply chain of illicit and counterfeit products.

TAPA APAC Board Director and Treasurer, Mr. Sangar Kandasamy, also participated in the webinar, networking with the delegates and providing nuggets on the value of TAPA engagement.

The webinar served as a significant platform to discuss and address the security challenges that arise from maritime trade which is a growing problem with global implications. The event provided valuable insights and best practices and explored potential solutions to combat maritime crime. Collaboration, adherence to global standards, legal and enforcement measures, advanced technology solutions, and continuous awareness and knowledge exchange are key factors in establishing a secure, resilient, and sustainable supply chain.

TAPA APAC is dedicated to providing support to various industry stakeholders, including manufacturers, logistics service providers, law enforcement agencies, ports, and customs. TAPA Standards offer a structured framework to tighten processes against potential risks, vulnerabilities, threats, and supply chain disruptions. By collaborating with stakeholders, TAPA APAC aims to enhance security measures and ensure the integrity of the supply chain.

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