Learning of international best practices by Customs authorities of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan under UNODC – WCO Global Container Control Programme  

On 24-26 October 2022, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA)  jointly with the World Customs Organization (WCO) and Customs Directorate of the Israel Tax Authority organized a study visit to the State of Israel for the senior management and representatives from Customs services and other competent authorities of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan under the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP).  

The purpose of the visit was to learn national best practices in the establishment and operation of the National Targeting Center at the Israel Customs Directorate; familiarize with Israel’s experience in the field of container/freight control; and hold consultations between the management of the Customs authorities of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Israel to strengthen practical cooperation, including information exchange on high-risk consignments.  

The delegations, headed by Daniyar Zhanalinov, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan (SRC); Akmalkhuja Mavlonov, Chairman of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan (SCC); and Olim Narzullaev, Director of the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan (NCDC), were consisted of executives and representatives of the dedicated subdivisions of these agencies.

In his welcoming remarks, Kfir Hen, Director General of Israel Customs welcomed the delegations and briefed on sessions prepared for the study visit. He reiterated a commitment by Israeli Customs to put their best efforts to make this visit a success and provide a detailed insight on the existing knowledge and expertise in establishing and operating the cargo targeting center. 

In line with the visit agenda, missions of Customs Directorate, including its organizational structure, mandate, functions, areas of responsibility, and existing border crossings were introduced to participants. This was followed by sessions on Customs enforcement and intelligence practices and achievements; prevention of money laundering, elaborations on the legal and practical framework in the area, the roles, and functions enforcement units.

The Jordan River Customs checkpoint, located on the border with Jordan and the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv were also visited, where the site specifics, import and export clearance procedures, the practicalities of the security checks for passengers, vehicles, and cargo, and the principles of work at the scanning site were comprehensively elaborated. These were followed by a detailed presentation and explanation of the purpose, history, mission, structural subdivision, staffing composition, and chain of command of the Customs Cargo Analysis Center. Parties have exchanged their contacts and agreed upon furthering the practical consultations with regard to the steps and procedures of establishing and operating the targeting centers in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. 

The Protocol on further revitalizing the Customs cooperation between Uzbekistan and Israel on broad spectrum of aspects of mutual interest was signed by the Heads of both Customs authorities.

The participants expressed their appreciation to UNODC-WCO CCP for arranging this productive study visit, as well as for being a reliable interlocutor for the countries in their efforts to build and enhance mutual relations and practical cooperation.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme.

More about Global CCP at: https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/ccp/index.html