A meeting on trade facilitation was held in Dushanbe on September 26–28 and gathered international and local experts to: 1) discuss Tajikistan’s experience as a member of the WTO, the current trade and customs procedures being applied in the country since it became a WTO member, and its compliance with the WTO trade facilitation agreement and 2) develop recommendations for further trade facilitation measures. The WTO approved Tajikistan’s accession in December 2012 and declared March 2, 2013 as the official entry date. Tajikistan became the 159th member of the WTO and the second Central Asian country to be admitted.

Duration: 25 September – 25 October 2016 

Border Management Programme in Central Asia launches would like to invite you to participate in the photography contest on the theme "People living in border lands – mixture of cultures, unity of souls". The contests presents an opportunity to share your view and express your vision of the life of people in border lands of Kyrgyzstan and to present through the camera objective how do they communicate with each other.

A total of 20 border guards and customs officers from 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. This BOMCA activity, conducted on September 20-22 in Almaty, aimed at strengthening the capacity of border control officers in identification and profiling procedures, enabling them to better categorize the different types of persons crossing the borders while also respecting document security, ethics and human rights.

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.