UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme facilitates practical cooperation and best practices sharing between Air Cargo Control Units of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan

On 08-09 November 2022, the UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia (UNODC ROCA) jointly with the State Revenue Committee of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kazakhstan (SRC) organized an exchange visit for the members of the  Air Cargo Control Unit (ACCU) at ‘Aviayuklar’ Customs post of Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport in Uzbekistan to ACCU at ‘Zhetysu’ Customs post of Almaty International Airport in Kazakhstan within the framework of the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP). 

The visit was aimed at learning the best practices of the 'Zhetysu' ACCU in air cargo/container control; holding consultations on strengthening the inter-regional practical cooperation, including information exchange on high-risk air cargo within the CCP Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units; as familiarizing with their operations and strengthening practical cooperation. The delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan consisted of CCP National Focal Points (NFPs) from the State Customs Committee (SCC) and the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan (NCDC); and members of the Air Cargo Control Unit from 'Aviayuklar' and Bosh Pochtamt Customs posts, as well as aviation security service of the Tashkent International Airport.

In line with the visit Agenda, the delegation held meeting with the management and representatives of the SRC Department for Almaty city; visited the ‘Zhetysu’ Customs post and cargo terminal, and offices of the Kazakhstan National Postal Operator ‘Kazpochta’ JSC, as well as Fast Courier Service facilities; and attended an online coordination session for the ACCUs of the three airports of Tashkent, Almaty, and Tbilisi with the experts of the World Customs Organization (WCO) on establishing the practical cooperation and information exchange on air cargo control matters.

The exchange visit provided the delegation with an opportunity to learn the national Customs regulations of Kazakhstan, procedures of goods clearance released for export/import or transshipments and cargo examinations. In light of the recent successful seizures made by Zhetysu ACCU, an emphasis was put on profiling and risk management aspects of work, where host party elaborated on mechanisms, practices, and capacities in place for the selection of high-risk consignments in mail and fast parcel operations. The detailed presentations on the integrated use by ACCU of the ‘Astana‑I’ specialized Customs information system and pre-arrival information systems ‘IATA-based E-Freight’ and ‘Alaport’ of the Almaty International Airport were made by ACCU members. 

At the online coordination session, held among the three ACCUs of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and WCO international expert as part of the exchange visit, the parties discussed further operationalizing multilateral agreements and commitments towards enhancing daily practical interaction and information exchange via WCO ContainerComm tool on air cargo control, with a focus on joint practical exercises and pre-arrival data exchange on high-risk cargo, transported among the three countries. Parties reiterated their regional and bilateral commitments to the joint work within the framework of the CCP Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units (IREN) towards preventing and tackling cross-border threats to the international legitimate trade flows.

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.