Another Port Control Unit in Uzbekistan opens under the UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

On 19 February 2021, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia jointly with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan conducted opening ceremony of a new Port Control Unit (PCU) at "Yallama" Customs post in Uzbekistan under the UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organization) Global Container Control Programme (CCP).

The dedicated Unit is established to conduct systematic profiling, selection and inspection of high-risk consignments in order to prevent illicit drug trafficking and other forms of black-market activity whilst facilitating the legitimate trade flow.

Representatives of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan and as well as our donors from the USA, including the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Bureau and the Export Control and Related Border Security Programme participated in the Opening ceremony.

In her opening speech, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, stressed that with a view to ensure favourable conditions for business entities, attracting foreign investment, creating modern social infrastructure, developing the transport corridors and improving the living standards of population, Uzbekistan demonstrates great efforts towards simplification of trade and implemented fundamental reforms of Law Enforcement sector. In 2017, Uzbekistan has formally agreed to expand CCP Programme by creating additional PCUs at the priority dry ports in "Alat" and "Yallama" Customs posts.

Welcoming the participants at the official opening of PCU at “Yallama” Customs post, Mr. Bakhtiyor Rakhimov, Deputy Chairman of State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan stated that “despite the global pandemic outbreak, UNODC conducted 13 online workshops for the members of Port Control Units at "Alat”, "Yallama" and Chukursay Customs posts in 2020. Active cooperation under CCP assists to strengthen technical capacities of Uzbek Customs officers in controlling goods and means of transportation crossing the Customs border of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.

The new PCU at the Yallama customs post is currently staffed, trained and equipped to undertake the systematic profiling and inspection of high-risk containers with minimum disruption to legitimate trade. Specialized equipment on vehicle plate reading system was provided to PCU in Yallama Customs post based on Uzbek State Customs Committee’s request.

It is expected that the newly established PCU will become an integral link in the network of PCUs in the region and play an important role in fostering practical cooperation and information sharing among Customs and border control agencies in Central Asia and wider region to identify and suppress high-risk consignments.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the Government of Japan and 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.


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Shakhnoza Zafari

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