UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme Establishes new Port Control Unit in "Alat" Customs Post on the Uzbek-Turkmen Border

On 26 March 2019, 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 "Alat" Customs post on Uzbek-Turkmen border 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, the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Border Forces of the State Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as CCP donors from Japanese and the United States Embassies participated in the Opening ceremony. The handover of relevant IT and office equipment, as well as special detection tools, took place during the event. 

In her opening speech, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, stressed that Uzbekistan demonstrates great efforts towards simplification of trade procedures and implements fundamental reforms of law enforcement and border control 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.

Customs and Border Force officers, members of PCU in "Alat" Customs post, successfully participated in all stages of capacity building measures envisaged by the Programme. New PCU is currently staffed, trained and equipped with IT and detection tools, as well as connected to WCO ContainerComm secure communication for effective profiling of high-risk consignments.    

It is expected that the newly established PCU at Uzbek-Turkmen border will become a vital chain 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 supress 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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