Customs Reform in Tajikistan

06 October 2014

At the invitation of Mr. Rustam Emomali, Chairman of the State Customs Service of Tajikistan, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 1 and 2 October 2014. He had a series of meetings with political and business leaders and also visited the Customs facility at Panji Poyon, located on the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.

During a briefing session at Customs Service headquarters, Secretary General Mikuriya commended the progress achieved, since the WCO diagnostic mission in 2007, in terms of Customs modernization ensuring greater transparency through information technology. Tajikistan Customs took the opportunity to explain its ongoing planning for a Single Window.

Following the briefing session, Secretary General Mikuriya attended a series of meetings starting with Tajikistan's Prime Minister, Mr. Kokhir Rasulzoda, who described his government’s policy of promoting trade and investment despite Tajikistan’s challenging geographical location as a landlocked country. Customs reform and cooperation with the WCO were high priorities, as was early ratification of the Revised Kyoto Convention for which the official procedures were in their final stages.

Mr. Sharif Rahimzoda, Tajikistan’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade, underlined the importance of Customs in implementing trade policy at borders. He was extremely familiar with the WCO from his time as Ambassador in Brussels and therefore expressed his wish to enhance cooperation with the WCO in its role of facilitating and securing global trade and providing capacity building support.

Mr. Radjabali Rahmonali, Commander of Tajikistan Border Troops, stressed the need for efficient border controls backed up by effective infrastructure and technology. He expressed a strong commitment to continued cooperation with Customs. Mrs. Nigina Abdulloyeva, Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Investment and State Property, was eager to improve the investment climate by ensuring linkages between Customs and business. Mr. Nizomiddin Zohidi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the country's stable external relationships and its need for openness through trade, based on global standards.

Secretary General Mikuriya had also a dialogue session with private sector representatives. The latter gave a positive assessment of regular discussions with the Customs Service. They described the efficiencies generated by the use of information technology and their desire for a Single Window. Some of the challenges identified were the harmonization of the transit systems, proper use of the TIR carnet system and international road transport. Private sector representatives also voiced their concerns about the stability of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of international military forces from that country. They suggested greater assistance for the country, to be provided through Tajikistan which shares a common language and culture with northern Afghanistan.

Secretary General Mikuriya visited the border bridge over the Panji River, separating Tajikistan from Afghanistan, and toured the Customs facility on the Tajikistan side housing several government agencies. The Secretary General encouraged the Customs officers, who work under harsh conditions, to ensure connectivity at borders. He also expressed his support for the planned data exchange between the two Customs services at the border, thus providing Customs with advance information for more effective risk management.

Overall, the Secretary General’s visit was perceived as an opportunity to further enhance cooperation between Tajikistan and the WCO, leading to greater integration of the Tajik economy in global trading and Customs systems.

Photos

  • During his visit, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya had a meeting with Tajikistan's Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda

    During his visit, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya had a meeting with Tajikistan's Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda

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  • WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and, directly to his left, Mr. Rustam Emomali, Chairman of the State Customs Service, together with Tajikistan Customs management

    WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and, directly to his left, Mr. Rustam Emomali, Chairman of the State Customs Service, together with Tajikistan Customs management

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