On 1-3 March 2016 BOMCA Technical Mission experts visited Tashkent to provide advisory support to the Higher Military Customs Institute of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The visit was aimed at providing support in evaluating the compatibility of the existing customs officer training system with World Customs Organization (WCO) professional standards and recommendations of the European Commission Directorate-General for Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD).

Aldis Čevers and Aivars Gulbis, associate professors at the International Institute of Business and Customs of Riga Technical University, presented to the Uzbek partners the basic principles of WCO professional standards and DG TAXUD recommendations.

During their mission the EU experts visited two departments of the Higher Military Customs Institute - the Faculty of Customs Affairs and the Faculty of Retraining and Advanced Training of Customs Officers, as well as the Institute’s Training Center, where they became acquainted with the Center’s existing training practice, materials, and literature.

In order to become familiar with the organisation of the educational process and the methodological approaches involved, separate meetings were organised with the Heads of Departments specialised in topics such as customs control, state regulation of foreign trade activities, classification and certification of goods, customs statistics and information technologies, and legal and economic disciplines. The experts underlined the achievements of the Higher Military Customs Institute on its way to increasing the quality and efficiency of the study process.

BOMCA experts together with teachers went through the Institute’s existing training programme in detail, prepared a comparative table containing the WCO professional standards, and examined the programme in terms of compliance to the standards. The list of requirements and documents to be submitted to the World Customs Organization was also discussed.

In addition, BOMCA experts met first- and third-year students from the programme and discussed with them the aims and practical measures applied in customs affairs, innovations and new approaches used, and the prospective development of customs affairs worldwide.

As a result of the mission and joint discussions with the national experts from Uzbekistan, the EU experts developed practical recommendations for achieving World Customs Organization accreditation for the Higher Military Customs Institute’s training programme, which will be the marker for the Institute’s alignment with international standards.