Promoting Practical Cooperation among Port Control Units of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan under UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme

In May-June, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) organized series of exchange visits for Port Control Units in Central Asia under UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organization) Global Container Control Programme (CCP) to learn regional best practices in container/cargo control, familiarize with PCU operations, and conduct consultations between PCU members of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to strengthen regional practical cooperation, including information exchange on high-risk consignments.

As such, on 6-9 May 2019, CCP jointly with the State Customs Committee of the Azerbaijan Republic (SCAA) organized an exchange visit for the officers from the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan (SCST) to the Republic of Azerbaijan headed by the Deputy Chairman of SCST. The mission included consultations at the Headquarters of SCAA and visits to the Port Control Unit at the Baku International Sea Trading Port "Alat" and "Astara" Customs Post, the Regional Office for Capacity Building for the WCO Europe Region (ROCB).

The visit provided a unique opportunity for Azeri and Turkmen Customs to further strengthen regional practical cooperation on high risk consignments and trade facilitation. In particular, the parties advanced implementation of bilateral agreement of pre-arrival information, reviewed legal and technical aspects for sharing pre-arrival information and developed a draft Terms of Reference for prearrival information and goods and means of transportation between STST and SCCA.

On 5-6 June 2019, CCP jointly with the State Revenues Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan organized an exchange visit for Port Control Unit (PCU) members in Bishkek and Osh (Kyrgyzstan) and Chukursay Tekhkontora (Uzbekistan) to PCU in "Altynkol" Customs post on Kazakh-Chinese border. During the mission, PCU members developed recommendations aimed at improvement of multilateral communication among PCUs and effective coordination of real-time customs control operations and reaffirmed their efforts to fight against cross-border illicit trade and organized crime through advanced container control and risk assessment. The event further promoted implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units signed on 22 May 2019 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Along with visiting the Altynkol customs post, delegations from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have also visited Altynkol railroad station and "Khorgos-Eastern Gate SEZ" dry port, "Nur Joly" freight crossing point and "Khorgos" International Center for Cross-Border Cooperation (ICBC) and learned about efforts of Kazakh customs towards ensuring trade supply chain security of freights crossing through the Khorgos area.

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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