UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme conducts a cross-border exercise among Port Control Units in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan

From 28 November to 01 December 2022, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) organized a joint practical training for 14 representatives from the Customs services of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, including National Focal Points (NFPs) from the central-level Customs services, and members of the Port Control Units (PCUs), deployed at the adjacent Customs posts Alat and Farap of the two countries within the framework of the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP).  

The joint practical training aimed at enhancing the PCUs' practical knowledge on risk analysis, profiling and inspecting high-risk consignments, detecting illicit shipments, and enhancing the expertise of the two PCUs in cooperative work and real-time information sharing under the Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units (IREN), as well as improving the practices related to the facilitation of the legitimate trade flows. 

Customs post infrastructure at both sites were demonstrated to the participants, where they have learned the routine Customs procedures and information systems in place and conducted the practical work with documents and selective physical inspections of the inbound and outbound cargo on both sides of the border. The training exercise provided to the members of both PCUs an excellent opportunity to look at their own posts’ operations as a joint team from different perspectives.

As an added value of the joint practical exercise, both parties mentioned during the training that it has contributed to better identifying the challenges and obstacles for the smooth cargo and transport flow through this border segment. This has encouraged them to agree upon further mutual steps towards synchronizing their Customs control efforts in line with the bilateral Protocol on the exchange of cargo pre-arrival information, signed by the Heads of Customs services of the two countries on 05 October 2021 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. 

The participants expressed their appreciation to UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme for its strategic approach and the relevance of its interventions in the region, highly beneficial for the countries, as well as for the role of a reliable interlocutor for the countries in their efforts to build and enhance mutual relations and practical cooperation.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by 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.