Uzbek Customs and Border Force Officers Trained on Container Control Techniques

On 23-27 April 2018, as a part of the "UNODC-WCO (World Customs Organization) Global Container Control Programme (CCP)," the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (ROCA) conducted Theoretical training for fourteen officers of the State Customs Committee and Border Force of the State Security Service of the Republic of Uzbekistan at UNODC ROCA in Tashkent.

The training is a part of a series of capacity building measures that aim to facilitate the establishment of two new Port Control Units (PCU) at the customs post "Alat" and "Yallama" in Uzbekistan. The Units will be staffed and equipped to perform accurate and systematic profiling and inspection of high risk consignments, and to promote legitimate trade at the same time. Trained officers will represent the core staff of the PCU.

The training participants had an opportunity to become familiar with a wide range of international legal instruments pertaining to drugs and crime, risk analysis and profiling techniques, cargo inspection, information exchange mechanisms, including "ContainerComm" secured communication tool of WCO, post seizure investigations, as well as trade facilitation. The use of Internet as a source of information and seal tampering was of a particular interest of the participants.

During the opening ceremony, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, stressed that Uzbekistan demonstrated great efforts towards simplifying trade procedures, opening borders with neighboring countries, as well as implemented fundamental reforms of law enforcement sector. These new developments require Customs, Border Forces and other law enforcement agencies across the region to pay greater attention to border security and container control, as with the increased trade the risks of trafficking in illicit goods have also increased.

The opening ceremony of the training was also attended by representatives from CCP donor countries Mr. Mukai Shinichi, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Tashkent and Ms. Marina Ritsema, Political Advisor of the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent. The diplomats appreciated the CCP efforts in Central Asia towards capacity building, border security, as well as trade facilitation and stated that "CCP is one of the most successful Programmes supported by the Governments of the United States and Japan".

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.