UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme Strengthens Railway Control in Central Asia and Southern Caucasus

17 October 2018, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia jointly with the State Customs Committee (SCC) of the Republic of Uzbekistan organized a "Railway Control and Pre-arrival Information" regional workshop as a part of the joint UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organizations) Global Container Control Programme (CCP). Over 60 Customs officers and representatives of national railroad companies from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, as well as international Customs experts expressed their commitment towards CCP.

 "The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved a decree on "Fundamental improvement of the activities of the state customs service of the Republic of Uzbekistan" (No. 5414 dated 12 April 2018). In this context, it is necessary to emphasize the significant role of the international cooperation which contributes to the delivery of tasks entrusted to the customs authorities. "- said Mr. Anvar Asamov, Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee, in his welcoming speech. "I strongly believe that the interaction of the customs authorities of Uzbekistan with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, accounting for more than 20 years, is among the most stable and successful." Speaking about the above-mentioned event, Mr. Asamov stressed that "CCP availed gaining vast positive experience on container control and provided good opportunity and platform for sharing experiences and strengthening the capacity of Customs Administrations in preventing Customs offences."

"The joint UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme (CCP) is uniquely placed to assist Governments to create sustainable enforcement structures in selected sea and dry ports in order to minimize the risk of shipping containers being exploited for illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and other forms of black-market activity whilst facilitating the legitimate trade." - highlighted Ms. Ashitra Mitta, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia.

The workshop provided an opportunity for Customs and other border  control agencies to report on their national efforts and needs in effective railroad controls, share cargo statistics  on the railroad, identify existing threats related to railroad traffic (fiscal, non-fiscal, drugs/crime), discuss availability of pre-arrival/post arrival data on consignments, Customs needs in terms of data from the railroad sector for profiling purposes including existing gaps and opportunities.

The event also aimed to promote strong dialogue between Customs and Railroad/transport companies for better risk profiling and foster practical collaboration on pre-arrival information exchange, explore Railroad companies' capacity including their readiness to share data for profiling purposes and discuss possibilities regarding what Customs and border control community can offer in return.

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.