UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme States meet in Turkmenistan to enhance cooperation in detecting high-risk consignments

UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme States meet in Turkmenistan to enhance cooperation in detecting high-risk consignments. Photo: UNODC4 July 2018 - Every year, more than 720 million containers move around the globe by sea, transporting 90 per cent of the world's cargo. Most carry licit goods, but some are used to smuggle drugs, weapons, and other illicit goods.

The Container Control Programme (CCP) was therefore established in 2004 by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Customs Organization (WCO) to thwart these criminal activities by pooling the strengths of customs and other law enforcement bodies.

With a view to strengthening cooperation among CCP participating States and identifying priorities, UNODC, through its Regional Office for Central Asia, and the Government of Turkmenistan recently held a meeting in the country, bringing together around 70 officials from customs administrations and other competent authorities.

Speaking at the event, Beggeldi Patjanov, Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan, expressed appreciation to UNODC and WCO for their initiatives and assured the audience of the Service's active participation in CCP activities at the national and regional levels.

Also attending, Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, encouraged participating States to strengthen practical cooperation among port control units in the region by establishing effective and sustainable mechanisms to combat drug trafficking and other criminal activities.

In a similar vein, Ketil Ottersen, UNODC Senior Programme Coordinator, stressed that CCP remains ideally placed to support the strengthening of international supply chain security by building national border administrations' capacities to tackle threats related to sea, land and air cargo.

At the end of the event, an outcome document supporting the establishment of a regular information exchange mechanism via Inter-Regional Network of Customs Authorities and Port Control Units, was adopted by participating officials. The document's adoption is an important step towards further strengthening regional and international practical cooperation among ten CCP participating States.

During the course of the meeting, the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan organized a visit to the newly opened International Sea Port in Turkmenbashy and officiated the opening of a dedicated port control unit.

Participating were representatives of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, as well as donor countries and partner organizations.

Further Information:

The UNODC-WCO Container Control Programme

UNODC in Central Asia