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Maritime Cargo Clearance Specialist, Multiple positions

Djibouti (Djibouti)

  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Djibouti (Djibouti)
  • Grade: P-3, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Maritime
    • Logistics
  • Closing Date: 2020-04-08

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Background Information - UNOPS

UNOPS is an operational arm of the United Nations, supporting the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to help people build better lives and countries achieve sustainable development.

UNOPS areas of expertise cover infrastructure, procurement, project management, financial management and human resources.

Working with us

UNOPS offers short- and long-term work opportunities in diverse and challenging environments across the globe. We are looking for creative, results-focused professionals with skills in a range of disciplines.


With over 4,000 UNOPS personnel and approximately 7,000 personnel recruited on behalf of UNOPS partners spread across 80 countries, our workforce represents a wide range of nationalities and cultures. We promote a balanced, diverse workforce — a strength that helps us better understand and address our partners’ needs, and continually strive to improve our gender balance through initiatives and policies that encourage recruitment of qualified female candidates.

Work life harmonization

UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands.

Background Information - Job-specific

According to UN OCHA, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly five years of conflict and severe economic decline are driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors. An estimated 80 per cent of the population – 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need. Severity of needs is deepening, with the number of people in acute need a staggering 27 per cent higher than last year. Two-thirds of all districts in the country are already pre-famine, and one-third face a convergence of multiple acute vulnerabilities.[1]

In order to address the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen, the restoration of regular commercial cargo flows into the country is essential. UN Security Council resolution 2216 (2015) decided that “Member States shall take necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned”.[2] In order to facilitate the unimpeded flow of essential commercial items to Yemen, the UN has been requested by the Government of Yemen to provide a monitoring and inspection service to inspect commercial cargo entering Yemen’s territorial waters in compliance with UNSCR 2216 (2015). 

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) was requested to operationalise and manage a mechanism to oversee the monitoring and inspection services on behalf of the UN and the concerned Member States. UNVIM is an independent mechanism, executed by UNOPS and reporting to OCHA.

The United Nations Verification and Inspection Mechanism for Yemen (UNVIM) was established in Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti, in January 2016.  As of November 2019, UNVIM has issued clearances to more than 1,100 vessels discharging over 21.1 million metric tonnes of commercial cargo to Yemen’s Red Sea ports of Hodeidah, Saleef and Ras Isa.

Functional Responsibilities

A:        In accordance with the UNVIM guidelines, the incumbent will lead the document verification process (desk review) of the clearance requests submitted to UNVIM in order to facilitate the provision of a certificate of clearance for legitimate commercial imports and humanitarian cargo destined to the Yemen Red Sea Ports while ensuring compliance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015).

  1. Creates a case file on the internal database for all received clearance requests.
  2. Ensures the verification process of the clearance requests is conducted in a timely and efficient manner.
  3. Assesses, analyses and investigates the clearance requests and request for supporting documents where necessary.
  4. Conducts internal discussions and consultations with Coordination Officers, Monitors, Inspectors and other UNVIM staff to obtain a consensus on requests and resolves any discrepancies before the request is cleared for further processing.
  5. Ensures the cargo does not contain any prohibited items as per UNSCR 2216 (2015) and as declared by the requesting entity.
  6. Categorises the cargo list into Food, humanitarian cargo and suspected cargo if required.

B:        In accordance with the UNVIM guidelines, represents UNVIM  and externally during the monitoring, screening, inspection, seizure and disposal processes of containerized, bulk or break bulk cargo destined to Yemen’s Red Sea Ports in international waters or trans-shipment ports.

  1. Works with importers, traders and port authorities to process container screening and that inspections are compliant with the UN and Government of Yemen guidelines.
  2. Monitors the screening and inspection process of suspected items in trans-shipment ports as outlined in UNSCR 2216(2015).
  3. Ensures that the relevant sections of the inspection and verification system’s database are populated properly
  4. Prepares monitoring and inspection reports as per the reporting templates and provide them to the Coordination Officers for onward perusal.

C:        In accordance with the UNVIM guidelines, oversees primary and secondary inspections of vessels and cargo in international waters or designated regional trans-shipment ports respectively.

  1. Verifies relevant information and documents from relevant UNVIM colleagues or database sources.
  2. Coordinates the inspection planning dates, times and procedures with internal and external entities.
  3. Ensures the inspection of the vessel, cargo and crew is conducted according to UN guidelines.
  4. Engages shipping entities and port authorities to obtain relevant documents.
  5. Drafts inspection reports listing the conclusions of the inspection for the UN Security Council
IV. Impact of Results  By strictly following all the above activities, facilitates the unimpeded free-flow of commercial items to areas of Yemen not under the control of the Government of Yemen and ensure all shipments are compliant with UNSCR 2216 (2015).


Develops and implements sustainable business strategies, thinks long term and externally in order to positively shape the organization. Anticipates and perceives the impact and implications of future decisions and activities on other parts of the organization.(for levels IICA-2, IICA-3, LICA Specialist- 10, LICA Specialist-11, NOC, NOD, P3, P4 and above)
Treats all individuals with respect; responds sensitively to differences and encourages others to do the same. Upholds organizational and ethical norms. Maintains high standards of trustworthiness. Role model for diversity and inclusion.
Acts as a positive role model contributing to the team spirit. Collaborates and supports the development of others. For people managers only: Acts as positive leadership role model, motivates, directs and inspires others to succeed, utilizing appropriate leadership styles.
Demonstrates understanding of the impact of own role on all partners and always puts the end beneficiary first. Builds and maintains strong external relationships and is a competent partner for others (if relevant to the role).
Efficiently establishes an appropriate course of action for self and/or others to accomplish a goal. Actions lead to total task accomplishment through concern for quality in all areas. Sees opportunities and takes the initiative to act on them. Understands that responsible use of resources maximizes our impact on our beneficiaries.
Open to change and flexible in a fast paced environment. Effectively adapts own approach to suit changing circumstances or requirements. Reflects on experiences and modifies own behavior. Performance is consistent, even under pressure. Always pursues continuous improvements.
Evaluates data and courses of action to reach logical, pragmatic decisions. Takes an unbiased, rational approach with calculated risks. Applies innovation and creativity to problem-solving.
Expresses ideas or facts in a clear, concise and open manner. Communication indicates a consideration for the feelings and needs of others. Actively listens and proactively shares knowledge. Handles conflict effectively, by overcoming differences of opinion and finding common ground.

Functional competencies

Results Orientation: Handles multiple projects/tasks and delivers them; ensures timely and consistent follow up on projects; is efficient and successful in handling time-bound projects; identifies critical factors and focuses energy to achieve them; is aware about self-development and identifies ways to enhance competencies.

Teamwork: Always works with others to accomplish goals/tasks; treats all members of team in a professional manner and with respect regardless of origins, gender, religion and race; is open to different points of view; communicates with all team members without bias and seeks to address any problems immediately; completes own assignment and monitors self-progress in order to making contribution to team goals; is dependable in times of crisis.

Ability to Analyse: Is fact-based in his/her approach to problem solving; reviews and analyses information; takes reasoned approach and discusses them with other key players of a balanced view; has a back-up/contingency plan ready for high risk/complex projects; is able to break down complex tasks into manageable parts to achieve completion.

Decision-making: Does not jump to conclusions or offer quick fix solutions when faced with a problem scenario; examines facts and presents workable options; can cope with uncertainty and incomplete information to come up with skillful decisions.


  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Business Administration, logistics, procurement, security, Maritime Affairs or related fields.
  • A first-level university degree in combination with required qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


  • At least 5 years of demonstrated relevant professional experience in supply chain, logistics, military, maritime security, maritime affairs, port management, customs or related fields.
  • Previous international experience and exposure is highly desirable. 
  • Experience in the management and logistics of commercial shipments is an asset.
  • Previous experience in maritime affairs, port logistics and management is highly desirable.
  • Previous experience with a multilateral organisation such as the United Nations, the European Union, NATO, or other such multilateral organisations is highly desirable and asset.
  • Experience in computers and office software packages (MS Office, Excel, etc.)


  • Fluency in English language is required. 
  • Knowledge of French or Arabic is highly desirable and an asset.

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: Fixed term
Contract level:  P3 
Contract duration: One year initially, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and funding availability.

For more details about United Nations staff contracts, please follow this link:

Additional Considerations

  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • Work life harmonization - UNOPS values its people and recognizes the importance of balancing professional and personal demands. We have a progressive policy on work-life harmonization and offer several flexible working options. This policy applies to UNOPS personnel on all contract types
  • UNOPS seeks to reasonably accommodate candidates with special needs, upon request.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  
  • It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns. 
  • Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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