The UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme continues enhancing the capacities of Port and Air Cargo Control Units in Central Asia

The UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia organized a series of practical and operational readiness activities for the Port Control Units and the Air Cargo Control Units in Central Asia under UNODC – World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme (CCP) in April 2022. As such a refresher practical training was held jointly with the Customs Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for the officers of the Customs Service, members of Khujand Port Control Unit (PCU), and Fotekhobod Customs post on 11-15 April.

The training delivered by WCO and UNODC experts aimed at strengthening the knowledge and skills of fifteen Customs officers in profiling and inspecting high-risk consignments as well as utilizing modern Customs control techniques. During the opening of the practical training, Mr. Batyr Geldiyev stated that CCP was proud to provide this course for Fotekhobod Customs post located in one of the important international transport corridors in the region in response to the request of the Customs Service of the Republic of Tajikistan.  

Trainers shared their expertise on profiling the import, export, and transit documents, risk indicators, targeting of high-risk consignments, comparing cargo documents against the containers/consignments, and record-keeping. Practical elaborations were also made with participants on specific enforcement aspects, such as container/cargo inspections, detecting seals manipulation, modern tools of inspecting the drugs, “rip‑on rip-off”, concealments, safety and security measures while inspecting the containers.   

On 18 - 20 April, another practical training for the dedicated Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at Zhetysu Customs post took place in Almaty International Airport jointly with the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The practical course held by the WCO trainer, was focused on facilitation of operations on the detection of high-risk air shipments including planning, division of responsibilities, and implementation of practical exercises, targeting, reporting, and lessons learned.

Mr. Batyr Geldiyev in his welcoming remarks congratulated the Unit with remarkable results, i.e. seizures of illicit goods made in 2021 and 2022 and encouraged the ACCU to further strengthen its operational capacity and promote regional practical cooperation with other airports in the region.

Risk analysis and inspection of suspicious cargo and parcels, as well as simulation of enforcement activities on the apron and warehouse were also conducted, based on which the recommendations on enhancing the ACCU’s capacity to detect high-risk air shipments were developed by the WCO trainer.

Additional CCP practical exercises – the Operational Readiness and Mentorship Event for the Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at Aviayuklar Customs post were held on 25-29 April in the Tashkent International Airport named after I. Karimov in Uzbekistan.  

The ACCU in Tashkent, which became a second dedicated air cargo control unit in Central Asia along with the one in Almaty, was formally opened on 22 April 2022 (more about the ACCU opening ceremony in Tashkent).

The practical exercises led by WCO experts were aimed at ensuring the ACCU readiness to set up and following the standard operating procedures in line with the tasks and roles assigned to the Unit, when conducting profiling, targeting, and examining of high-risk consignments, as well as applying specific tools and record-keeping.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Programme.