UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme Expands to Air Cargo Control in Kazakhstan

From 24 September to 4 October 2019, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia jointly with the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, conducted First Basic Training on Air Cargo Control for the representatives from the State Revenue Committee and the Civil Aviation Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organization) Global Container Control Programme in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

In 2019, CCP included Almaty International Airport into CCP Air cargo component. And the training is part of capacity building activities aimed to strengthen air cargo controls at the airport to minimize the risk of air freight being exploited and used for illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and threatening aviation security.

During opening ceremony, Mr. Yeldos Kulzhabay, CCP focal point from the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan, commended CCP contribution into effective countering of drug trafficking, smuggling illicit goods and criminal activities through Port Control Units (PCU) in Kazakhstan and expressed the Committee's readiness to continue close cooperation with UNODC for developing the best practices in identifying and suppressing high-risk consignments on sea/land/air in Central Asia.  

Mr. Batyr Geldiyev, UNODC Regional Progarmme Coordinator, stressed that UNODC is proud to launch CCP Air component in Central Asia and will work closely with the Customs Administration and other relevant authorities of Kazakhstan on establishing a dedicated Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at "Zhetysu" customs post in Almaty International Airport that will systematically target and suppress high-risk air consignments.

Mr. Andrew Chilcoat, the U.S. Export Control and Related Border Security Programme's Adviser, expressed appreciation to UNODC for CCP implementation in the region and fostering cooperation between Customs Administration in Central Asia, West Asia and Black sea region, as regional partnerships lead to successful seizures by PCUs with a focused on the threats from illicit smuggling considering increased cargo volumes through the Kazakh borders.     

During the training the officials from customs, civil aviation and airport cargo authorities of Kazakhstan gained knowledge on identifying high-risk shipments using risk indicators, open source information and intelligence, as well as detecting any type of contraband of restricted and prohibited goods both in the class-room environment and cargo terminal at the Almaty International Airport .

The experienced WCO International experts introduced to participants a wide range of smuggling techniques, types of concealments and trends and potential health and safety implications. The ACCU members of Tbilisi airport also joined the training and shared best practices on unit's operations on successful seizures. 

The international airport at Almaty is the principle commercial air gateway to Kazakhstan and Central Asia. It is therefore important that the most efficient control measures are put in place to prevent airfreight cargo and their contents being contaminated by those involved in illicit trafficking (drugs, chemical, biological, radioactive or nuclear material, CITES) and organized crime.

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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