Ambassador Delawie’s Remarks at the Customs Control Center

Thank you very much, Director General Rafuna. It’s been really terrific to see the important work that the Customs Service does here every single day. The work of the Customs Service directly supports Kosovo’s security, its ability to uphold the rule of law, and of course Kosovo’s economic development. I talk a lot about corruption and rule of law and I’m very happy to see the important work that the Customs Service does to make corruption more difficult, to punish it when it happens, and to support rule of law throughout this entire country.

As the Director General said a minute ago, the U.S. Embassy through the Export Control and Border Security program or EXBS is a proud supporter of Kosovo Customs, most recently providing new software and in-car video systems for mobile teams that travel throughout the country to enforce Customs laws. I’m very proud we’ve been able to support this work but I’m also aware that even the best technology and the best tools wouldn’t do the job but for the hard work of the women and men of the Customs Service who use them every day to enforce Kosovo’s laws. Through the U.S. Department of Commerce, our Embassy has also provided Customs with training to enhance its valuation capabilities and intellectual property protection.

I think it is important that everyone in Kosovo recognize that the Customs Service generates the vast, vast majority of revenues that the Kosovo Government has at its disposal. Every road, every police officer, every member of the Kosovo Security Forces, every single thing the government does is basically paid for out of this building. I intend to work with my team at the U.S. Embassy to continue to support the important work that the Customs Service does here.

Thank you very much for taking the time to show me around, sir.