Kyrgyz and Turkmen Customs Officials Learn British and Dutch Best Practices in Container Control

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asian (ROCA) organized two study tours for Kyrgyz and Turkmen Customs officials to benchmark ports in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom under UNODC-Word Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme (CCP). These study visits provided Customs officers, members of the Port Control Units in Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan with the unique opportunity to gain firsthand experience from law enforcement officials (container profilers) and discover different working techniques compared to their home ports.

Notably, from 12-13 June 2018, the Tax and Customs Administration of the Ministry of Finance of the Netherlands with the support of WCO hosted a study visit for officials from the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan to the Port of Rotterdam, the largest seaport in Europe and one of the largest seaports in the world. Netherlands Customs officers introduced the delegation to Dutch Customs and Enforcement vision of Dutch Customs, as well as presented Customs work in the Port of Rotterdam - liquid bulk, containers, dry bulk, distribution and other terminals. The current best practices on pre-arrival information, risk management system, Customs cooperation with other agencies and innovation means for inspection were shared with Turkmen colleagues.

The Turkmen delegation had opportunity to visit Customs office Maasvlakte in the Port of Rotterdam which handled 12.4 million containers (in TEU) in 2016. The delegation had opportunity to visit X-ray container scan areas and X-ray image analysists Centre, the Centralized Inspection Terminal and the National Practical Training Center located in the Port of Rotterdam.

At the opening session of the tour, Mr. Batyr Geldiyev, UNODC Regional Programme Coordinated stressed that these visits enabled PCUs to acquire new skills and experiences which they can apply in their daily work practice in their home countries.

From 2-6 July 2018, UNODC ROCA in partnership with the United Kingdom's National Crime Agency (UK NCA) organized a work study visit to Dover Seaport and Gatwick International Airport. The Kyrgyz delegation headed by the First Deputy Chairman of the Kyrgyz Customs Mr. Shamil Berdaliev, as well as PCU members in Bishkek and in Osh learned the daily work of the seaport and the airport in terms of customs, border and immigration control aimed on risk analysis, profiling techniques, cargo and passenger inspection. Joint Border Intelligence Units (JBIU) based in Police Station in Kent and Gatwick International Airport shared their experience on establishment of these units, efficient mechanisms for the collection, analysis and information exchange between all law enforcement agencies to combat illicit criminal activities on the borders. The Kyrgyz delegation was impressed by the technical capability of the ports, profiling methods of high-risk consignments, as well as electronic systems of customs control and JBIU's operations and gained some positive experience to be applied in Kyrgyzstan. The event was facilitated and funded by UK NCA.

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