Taking into the account the constant necessity for the regulation of transport and migrant flows, as well as the trans-border nature of security challenges for border territories in Central Asia, an effective border regime should not be considered as an internal issue of just one country, as it requires a close partnership between the border delegates of all countries involved. Thus these delegates also have a crucial role in the maintenance of good-neighbourly relations and cooperation between the countries.

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, a BOMCA expert team met with key national partners from phytosanitary, veterinary, quarantine and sanitary-epidemiological agencies in Tashkent on September 5–7 to jointly assess the existing national practices and procedures for risk analysis and control of imported animals, plants and food. This BOMCA activity aimed to provide technical assistance in the development and improvement of the risk management systems in the Central Asian countries.

On August 23–24, a BOMCA expert team visited Tashkent to introduce modern technologies in distance learning for customs officers. The team from Riga Technical University visited the Higher Military Customs Institute (HMCI) of the State Customs Committee and discussed in detail the possible introduction of distance learning tools such as lessons via video and videoconferencing with Riga Business School.

On July 14, BOMCA supported the next international donor coordination meeting, which was held in Uzbekistan. The meeting was attended by the International Donors’ Community and the Embassies accredited in Uzbekistan (EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, Embassy of the Republic of Latvia, JICA, UNODC, USAID and others).

Next round of national Steering Group meetings were held in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.  Key partners from beneficiary agencies as well as EU representatives have participated and reconfirmed their commitment to BOMCA implementation and together with BOMCA management defined the directions for future implementation for the rest of the year 2016.

On 08 July 2016, BOMCA Programme facilitated the 6th meeting of the Inter-Agency Commission (Commission) on Development and Implementation of the Integrated Border Management (IBM) system in the Kyrgyz Republic, which on high level steers and coordinates the efforts of all agencies involved in implementation of the National IBM Strategy for 2012 – 2022.

In July, the Award Ceremonies for the drawing contest “People working at borders” were held in in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan with participation of European Union Delegations, BOMCA and beneficiary agencies. The competition was announced on May, 15 2016 and invited children (9-14 y.o.) to present their vision on border guards’ work and daily life in an artistic way. 

Between 22-24 June BOMCA-invited trainer-experts Ms. Gunta Laganovska, Chief of the Examination Service of the State Border Guard of Latvia, and Mr. Tibor Kovács, international consultant, conducted regional training of trainers workshops on document security for relevant national experts from border agency training institutions and border control officers from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The event was organised in cooperation with OSCE.