UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme promotes regional and inter-agency cooperation among Customs and Railroad companies

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Central Asia organized an Online Regional Meeting on Pre-arrival Information Exchange and Railway Cargo Control under the UNODC-WCO Global Container Control Programme (CCP) on 24-25 February 2021. More than 100 experts from Customs Administrations, Railroad companies and other competent authorities of CCP participating countries, including Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, and partner organizations participated at the event. The meeting was a follow-up to previous regional meetings and expert level discussions which took place in 2018-2019 and became a unique platform for exchange of experience and best practice sharing of the Customs Administrations of CCP participating states on pre-arrival information exchange on railway cargo. The meeting also served to promote regional and inter-agency practical cooperation on pre-arrival information exchange between Customs Administrations and Railroad Companies.

During opening ceremony, Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia stated that over the many years railways have been a reliable and cost-effective mode of transportation for large quantities of goods imported/exported and transited through the territories of our countries majority of which does not have access to large maritime ports. In addition, the Railways also gained a special place in ensuring the continuity of global freight traffic during the COVID-19 lockdown. Rail routes play a key role in this context, representing “green routes” for the transport of important anti-epidemic materials and equipment were transported by rail from China to European countries, a significant proportion of which also passed through our regions.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ketil Ottersen, CCP Senior Programme Coordinator stressed that cooperation with the private sector, in particular port operators, shipping and railroad companies is crucial for successful interdiction and suppression of high-risk consignments. Through Member State and their respective Port Control Units and Air Cargo Control Units coordination efforts, working with the shipping industry/private sector/railroad companies builds and encourages a trusting relationship while strengthening the trade supply chain.

During the meeting, the Parties agreed that even though Customs authorities perform a key task at the border to protect the economic interests of countries and their citizens, however, with a view to develop transport corridors more thoroughly and secure, border control agencies and railroad companies of Black Sea, Central Asian and wider region have to work together to remove barriers to trade and increase the movement of goods within and outside the their regions. It is necessary to introduce effective control measures for rail transport to fight against drug trafficking and other forms of illicit activity, whilst simplifying border crossing procedures and administrative requirements. The Parties also agreed to maintain this important regional dialogue focusing on regional cooperation and pre-arrival information exchange.

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.



For all inquiries, please contact:

Shakhnoza Zafari

Communication and External Relations Officer

UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia

Email: shakhnoza.zafari[at]

Mobile: +998935547895