Facilitating legal trade in Central Asia and Azerbaijan

Central Asian states and Azerbaijan are participants of the Global Container Control Programme (CCP), jointly initiated by the UNODC (United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime) and the WCO (World Customs Organizations). The programme, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), aims at fortifying the structures and processes which allow minimizing the use of containers for the illicit trafficking of drugs and other transnational organized crime activities.

In order to strengthen the capacities of law enforcement officers to effectively respond to criminal activities, as well as to strengthen the regional cooperation between Central Asia and Azerbaijan, several events were implemented by the Global Container Control Programme.

In May, 2015, a regional meeting gathered representatives from customs and other law enforcement agencies from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan as well as donors and external partners at the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre  (CARICC), in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The participants discussed possibilities for better cooperation among customs and other law enforcement agencies aimed at identifying high-risk consignments, and the exchange of drug data via the secure communication system "ContainerComm", as well as the drafted Regional Operational Plan, based on findings of the threats survey to the region.

Mr. Alexander Nurpeisov, Deputy Head of the Customs Control Unit of the Republic of Kazakhstan noted: "Customs and law enforcement agencies in each of our countries undertake all necessary measures on interdicting criminal activities", however, strong regional cooperation is crucial in countering transitional organized crime.

In June, 2015, a training session for Uzbek Customs officers on "profiling" container movements using modern methods of customs control including the secured communication system "ContainerComm" was held at the "Tekhkontora Chukursai" customs post in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Customs officers were trained in selecting high-risk containers in the pre-arrival (imports) and/or pre-departure (exports) phases, and to undertake their physical examinations.

Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, stated that the CCP is uniquely placed to assist Governments in the creation of a sustainable enforcement system in selected sea and dry ports in order to minimize the risk of shipping containers being exploited for illicit drug trafficking and transnational organized crime.


A Four-day Mentorship Programme for Turkmen Customs Officers of the Ashgabat dry port and the Turkmenbashi seaport was conducted by UNODC in June, 2015, with the aim of enhancing the sustainability of the programme, and equipping the newly assigned officers of the CCP Port Control Unit (PCU) with the necessary skills and knowledge.  Officers were trained in using the Internet as a source of information, risk analysis of the commercial documentation and customs declarations, the use of the "ContainerComm" programme, the "rip on/off" smuggling techniques as well as better strategies to select and examine high-risk containers.