On January 29-February 2, 2018, upon the invitation of the Kyrgyz Government, a BOMCA expert team came to Kyrgyzstan to assist the State Customs Service in the update and actualization of its anti-corruption plan.  During the five-day joint work with the Heads and staff of the main departments involved in customs control, the experts jointly reviewed the organizational structure, duties, and procedures within the Kyrgyz Customs, and carried out an assessment of conformity of organizational tasks, competences, rights, and obligations of the employees.  Real and potential risks of corruption were reviewed and specific cases of corruption were analysed. As a main result of the Technical Mission, the Intra-agency Action Plan on the fight against corruption was updated with short-term and medium-term objectives and priorities.  Also, a set of recommendations was developed on structure optimisation, increasing transparency, and control processes.

The effective risk management system in customs is a powerful tool that allows authorities to focus on the most risky areas of border control, to differentiate those involved in trade and, consequently, to keep a proper balance between the facilitation of legitimate trade and prevention of illegal activities in the international trade chain. Thus, it is important to ensure that such a system is in place and is implemented properly by customs/border guard officers. To this end, on January 29-31, a BOMCA expert team met with national partners from the Tajik Customs to jointly assess the existing national practices and procedures for risk analysis and criminal investigation in customs clearance and control. This BOMCA activity aimed to provide technical assistance in the development and improvement of the risk management systems in the Central Asian countries.

Technical assistance missions on joint risk analysis for border agencies continue in 2018. 

On 12-15 December in Ashgabat a workshop on standards of assistance to vulnerable migrants was conducted. The event served as a forum for governmental stakeholders and European experts to exchange experience and explore the international standards for in providing basic services to vulnerable migrants, including readmission. Over the course of the three-day workshop, government counterparts and BOMCA experts from International Center on Migration Policy Development (ICMPD) and State Border Guards of Latvia shared findings and discussed ways to respond to the needs of victims of trafficking  (VoTs) and migrants in accordance with international standards and best practices.

Effective risk management systems in customs are a powerful tool that allow authorities to focus on the most risky areas of border control, to differentiate those involved in trade and, consequently, to keep a proper balance between the facilitation of legitimate trade and prevention of illegal activities in the international trade chain. Thus it is important to ensure that such a system is in place and is implemented properly by customs/border guard officers. To this end, on December 12-14 BOMCA expert team met with national partners from Kyrgyz Customs  to jointly assess the existing national practices and procedures for risk analysis  and criminal investigation in customs clearance and control .This BOMCA activity aimed to provide technical assistance in the development and improvement of the risk management systems in the Central Asian countries.

On December 12-14, 2017 BOMCA expert team met with key national partners from the State Committee of  Uzbekistan to jointly assess the existing practices and procedures of import risk analysis and control. This BOMCA activity aims to sustain institutional development of the State Veterinary Committee in the areas covered by international Trade Facilitation Conventions. In particular, it intends to extend awareness on the veterinary border check, and effective appliance of risk analysis.

On December 11-13 2017, BOMCA conducted a national workshop on identification and profiling techniques for border guards and law enforcement officers of Kazakhstan.

On 29 November, the 3rd Regional Steering Group (RSG) meeting was held in Astana. Representatives from the border and customs services, foreign ministries, and migration management agencies of each Central Asian (CA) country (as project beneficiaries) together with BOMCA Consortium partners and representatives from the Delegations of the European Union in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan jointly assessed the Programme’s achievements and challenges to date, discussed the work plan for next year and spoke about country priorities with regard to possible BOMCA continuation beyond 2018.