UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme Conducted Series of Mentorships in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan 

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia organized a series of mentoring programmes for Port Control Units (PCUs) under UNODC-World Customs Organization (WCO) Global Container Control Programme (CCP) in Central Asia: at the "Beyik Serdar Yo`li" Customs post in Turkmenbashy seaport, Turkmenistan ( 11-14 March 2019); at Customs Central Apparatus in Bishkek and Regional Department in Osh, Kyrgyzstan ( 18-20 March 2019); at the "Chukursay Tekhkontora" and "Alat" Customs posts, Uzbekistan ( 1-5 April 2019); at the at the Regional Customs Departments in Khujand, Tajikistan ( 18-21 June 2019); and in Aktau and Kyryk seaports, Kazakhstan ( 8-11 July 2019).

During the mentoring programmes, members of the PCUs had excellent opportunity to advance their knowledge and strengthen theoretical and practical skills on cargo profiling and goods inspection, as well as use of modern methods of customs control. The WCO trainer-mentor and UNODC mentor provided necessary recommendations on selection and profiling of high-risk cargo, analyzing current shipping documentation in real-time, and inspection of railway wagons/containers/trucks. PCU members also had a unique opportunity to examine suspicious containers/consignments guided by WCO expert and UNODC mentors and seek expert`s advice on PCU operations, discuss current challenges, as well as share information on latest seizure cases performed by them.

During mentorships, a special emphasis was paid the to PCU's operating procedures and advantages of the regular information exchange mechanism via establishing of Inter-Regional Network of Customs and PCUs within CCP. The launch of the Network between countries of Central Asia, Black Sea region, as well as Afghanistan and Pakistan, would serve as a strong platform for information exchange process and could assist to minimize the risk of shipping consignments being exploited for illicit drug trafficking, transnational organized crime and other forms of black-market activity. 

The relevant Memorandum of Understanding on establishing Inter-regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units was signed by Heads of Customs Administrations of Afghanistan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan on 22 May 2019 in Tashkent.

The CCP Regional Segment for Central Asia is funded by the Government of Japan and 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.

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