From 25 to 27 July BOMCA organised a three-day study tour in Latvia on border demarcation and delimitation for representatives of relevant state agencies of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The activity brought together delegates representing Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Border Services and National Commissions on delimitation and demarcation issues.

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On July 17-20 BOMCA organized a study tour in Latvia and Lithuania for representatives of border, customs, and veterinary and phytosanitary agencies of Central Asian countries. The activity gathered 20 officers from border, customs and veterinary/phytosanitary institutions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan who were given an opportunity to learn from the European experience and observe on the spot the advantages of intra-agency and inter-agency cooperation. 

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A new  round of national Steering Group meetings was held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, within the framework of the BOMCA project.  Key partners from the beneficiary agencies, as well as EU representatives participated in these meetings and reconfirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the project and achievement of project goals. Together with the BOMCA management team, participants defined the directions for the upcoming activities in 2017.

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Building upon training needs identified during the Consortium of Educational Institutions of Border and Customs Agencies, the second session of which was held in Bishkek in February 2017, the Higher Military Customs Institute of the Republic of Uzbekistan demonstrated best practices in X-ray image analysis by hosting between 13-15 June a regional training for trainers and customs officers from Central Asia. The aim of this BOMCA activity is to encourage and support cooperation among the training institutions in Central Asia.

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During the last meeting of the Consortium of Educational Institutions of Border and Customs Agencies, which was held in Bishkek in February 2017, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan agreed to exchange trainers from their customs training institutions. The first training of this kind was held in Dushanbe between 29 May-1 June, where trainers from the customs training institutions of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan facilitated training of trainers for their Tajik colleagues on the issues of radiation control and dual-use goods. The aim of this BOMCA activity is to encourage and support cooperation among the training institutions in Central Asia.

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Between 6-8 June Bishkek hosted a regional workshop for customs officers from Central Asia. Customs officers from Central Asian countries together with experts from European customs authorities discussed the current methods of customs valuing, tariff classification and origin of goods and methods applied in their countries and evaluated the international practices in this area based on the Lithuanian experience. During the workshop the main principles of the World Customs Organization (WCO) and a number of technical issues were reviewed, including the linkage between customs valuing and pricing. The workshop provided an opportunity to compare national classification systems with the standards recommended by the WCO and consider possible improvements in national methods of establishing and applying tariffs.

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On 8th June 2017, the 4th meeting of the European Union – Central Asia High Level Political & Security Dialogue took place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, with Afghanistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs participation. This high level meeting was held at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, hosted by the First Deputy Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Ms. Dinara Kemelova and chaired by Mr. Jean-Christophe Belliard, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs – Political Director for the European External Action Service (EEAS).

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Border control standards with a special focus on ethics were discussed during a regional workshop on border checks held in Bishkek between 31 May-2 June. A total of 20 border guards and customs officers from all five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) were trained to use modern techniques and apply international standards in carrying out border checks and to manage mixed migration flows in accordance with international standards. Participants shared their experience and discussed the issues of border control organisation in their countries - administrative rules, regime, tools and methods of control with a focus on flow management. BOMCA experts based on the Latvian experience demonstrated examples of technical equipment at checkpoints and practices of optimisation of checkpoint activities. This BOMCA activity, conducted in cooperation with IOM and UNHCR, aimed at strengthening the capacity of border and customs control officers, enabling them to better categorise the different types of persons crossing the borders while also respecting document security, ethics and human rights.

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