On 4 October, Vienna hosted the 13th Central Asia Border Security Initiative Conference (CABSI), gathering over 100 international participants to discuss issues relating to transnational organised crime, migration challenges and responses, and trade facilitation issues.

Between 13-15 September a regional workshop on the Revised Kyoto Convention was conducted in Almaty, gathering together key national partners from the customs agencies of Central Asian countries. The workshop ended the series of working meetings conducted in each country where discussions on the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and its implementation aspects were conducted, and the compatibility of the countries’ national legislation assessed and reviewed.

On 13 September in Bishkek a workshop on standards of assistance to vulnerable migrants was conducted. The event served as a forum for governmental and non-governmental stakeholders to exchange experience and explore the international standards for enhancing the quality and access to basic services for vulnerable migrants, especially victims of trafficking. Over the course of the three-day workshop, government representatives (from the Ministries of Foreign and Internal Affairs, the Border Service, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the State Migration Service and other relevant ministries), and BOMCA, IOM and UNHCR experts, as well as representatives from NGOs and civil society partners involved in combating trafficking in persons in Kyrgyzstan, exchanged experiences, 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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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.