Customs Port Control Units in Azerbaijan Equipped with the Chemical Identifiers

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia handed over two HazMatID 360 Advanced Portable FT-IR Chemical Identifiers to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan under "UNODC-World Customs Organization Global Container Control Programme - regional segment for Central Asia and Azerbaijan" on 14 October 2014 in Baku.

The equipment will help to identify solid and liquid chemicals based on their distinct molecular fingerprint and support activities of two Port Control Units established under Container Control Project in Customs Houses of "Barya-kechidi" of the Baku Main Customs Department and "Astara" of the Astara Customs Department.

Simultaneously project staff conducted the regional training on container control for law enforcement agencies which aims at strengthening officer's skills on "profiling" the containers movement and using modern techniques in customs control including secured communication system "ContainerComm". Representatives from Customs services and other law enforcement agencies from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan participated in the event. WCO representatives acted as instructors for the training. The State Customs Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic hosted the event at the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) of the World Customs Organization (WCO) European Region in Baku.

During opening ceremony, Major-General Guloglan Muradli, Chief of the Main Department on Fighting Customs Violations of the State Customs Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic highlighted that the volume of container movement globally has increased with only less than 2 % containers inspected. He stressed the importance of the Container Control Programme in tackling illicit drug trafficking in the region.

The Global Container Control Programme is a joint UNODC/ WCO initiative, which was developed for the purpose of assisting governments in establishing sustainable enforcement bodies in selected sea and dry ports to minimize the risk of maritime containers being exploited for trafficking of various illicit goods, such as drugs, precursor chemicals (for drugs and weapons), firearms, weapons of mass destruction, nuclear material, and other forms of organized crime activity.

The programme aims at establishing so called Joint Port Control Units (JPCU) comprising Police, Customs and relevant law enforcement authorities in key regional container ports.