OSCE-supported Customs Training Centre in Kyrgyzstan gets new int’l status

BISHKEK (TCA) — Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO) Kunio Mikuriya, together with the Chairperson of the State Customs Service (SCS) of the Kyrgyz Republic Almaz Onolbekov, with the support of the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek, opened a new Regional Training Centre of the World Customs Organization in Kyrgyzstan on 16 April in Bishkek.

Previously, this facility was an SCS Training Centre, which acquired its new status following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the WCO and SCS in December 2018.

Following the signing of the Memorandum, the SCS Training Centre became the seventh regional training centre of the WCO in the European region.

Secretary General Mikuriya noted the co-operation of the WCO customs services contributes to the improvement of customs management in accordance with modern international standards and play an important role in ensuring security, simplifying customs procedures and creating favourable conditions for international trade. Similarly, Kunio Mikuriya mentioned that the new WCO Regional Training Centre will create a new impetus for the institutional development of not only Central Asian, but also the entire European region of the World Customs Organizations.

The OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek helped the SCS to achieve this outcome within the framework of its long-term programmatic support to the SCS Training Centre.
Since 2009, the OSCE Programme Office in Bishkek has assisted in enhancing the capacity of the SCS to facilitate cross-border trade, combat trafficking of illicit goods, and adopt modern information and customs technologies. With OSCE support, the SCS Training Centre has implemented a number of international standards in capacity-building activities, which have allowed the Training Centre to include a regional component.

As such, since 2009 the SCS Training Centre has trained over 1,000 Kyrgyz and 250 Afghan customs officers, and more than 100 training modules have been developed with the OSCE’s support.

The newly acquired status of the WCO Regional Training Centre will provide for an increased geographic reach and quality of training for customs officers of the OSCE region and beyond.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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