The UNODC – WCO Global Container Control Programme expands to a new priority port in Kyrgyzstan

On 2 March 2023 the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia jointly with national counterparts from the State Customs Service of the Kyrgyz Republic (SCS) conducted an opening ceremony of a new Port Control Unit (PCU) under the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP) at "Batken" Customs in Batken region, Kyrgyzstan.

The “Batken” Сustoms is located at the edge of the borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and serves trains, vehicles, as well as citizens at the same time. The dedicated Unit is established to conduct systematic profiling, selection, and inspection of high-risk consignments to prevent drug trafficking and other forms of black-market activity whilst facilitating the legitimate trade flow.

Sardor Atashikov, UNODC Programme Officer, Container Control Programme (CCP) welcomed the participants at the event and thanked for their continuous support and dedication to the Programme. He highlighted that “Batken” PCU is located on a strategically important area, and therefore, the creation of the PCU was essential not only for Kyrgyzstan, but also for the entire Central Asian region in terms of preventing and combating drug trafficking and illegal movements of other commodities. Mr. Atashikov also added that: “Opening of the new PCU in Batken is crucial since Kyrgyzstan has the most extended border in Batken with active legal trade in place, which presents a risk in terms of its potential abuse by smugglers for illicit purposes. Therefore, we believe that newly opened Batken PCU will add a huge value for suppressing the flow of illicit goods. The Unit will be the third PCU in the country, with Bishkek and Osh, successfully established and made operational through the Container Control Programme”.  

Maysalbek Mamytov, Head of the Batken Customs emphasized that Kyrgyzstan has been participating at CCP since 2016. “A series of activities were carried out during this period together with the Programme, aimed at strengthening the potential of the Customs service, including theoretical and practical training courses, study visits, mentoring programmes, and it should be noted that the acquired knowledge and professional skills are properly applied in our daily work. In addition, the Programme provided significant assistance in the creation of the Situational Center of the State Customs Service under the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic. Additionally, two Port Control Units were opened by joint efforts at the central office of the State Customs Service under the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek and at the South-Western Customs in Osh, and equipped with the necessary office equipment, vehicles, as well as modern technical means of Customs control”.

Almaz Zhoroev, Deputy Head of Batken Customs expressed his appreciation of the current level of cooperation between SCS and UNODC within the framework of CCP, thanked for the assistance provided, and expressed confidence in the further progressive development of practical cooperation. As Head of Batken PCU, Almaz Zhoroev mentioned that: “Despite the difficulties, this task was jointly completed in a short time and the Port Control Unit was created at the Batken Customs, which became possible thanks to the joint work and support by the Programme”.

The new PCU, composed of six trained Customs officers and equipped with IT equipment and basic detection tools, is connected to WCO’s ContainerComm secure communication platform. The PCU members have received training and are ready to undertake the systematic profiling and inspection of high-risk consignments with minimum disruption to legitimate trade.

The opening and welcoming remarks were followed by the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the PCU’s new premises. In addition to new premises, the newly opened Batken PCU was equipped by all means of equipment for the seamless and effective operation of the Unit. Drones, binoculars, walky-talkies, laptops, printers, computers, and furniture were handed over to the State Customs Service.

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) Program.

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For more information, contact Vasilina Brazhko 

Communication and PR Specialist at 

UNODC in Central Asia 

at +996775987817 WhatsApp 

vasilina.brazhko {at}