Azerbaijan is aiming for transparent Customs

16 January 2019

At the invitation of the Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, Mr. Safar Mehdiyev, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Baku, Azerbaijan on 14 and 15 January 2019.  He met with the President of Azerbaijan, H.E. Ilham Aliyev, and later with the Prime Minister of Azerbaijan, Mr. Novruz Mammadov, to discuss Customs reform and Azerbaijan's increasing leadership role within the WCO.

During a bilateral meeting, President Aliyev congratulated Secretary General Mikuriya on his re-election which he considers as a sign of Members’ trust.  He explained that he had made integrity a top priority for Azerbaijan’s public institutions, with Customs serving as an example.  He went on to mention that Customs had improved its performance following modernization measures and enhanced transparency, recently implemented on his initiative.  This had resulted in a more conducive business environment and increased revenue.  President Aliyev also asked the WCO to continue providing assistance to his country in the form of expertise. 

Dr. Mikuriya expressed his sincere gratitude to President Aliyev for the support extended to him personally and to the WCO.  He had indeed noticed the substantial progress made with Customs reform in Azerbaijan, thanks to the strong political will displayed.  He reaffirmed the WCO’s continuous support for Customs, suggesting that Azerbaijan share its experience of the use of technology and institutional reform with other countries.  In response, President Aliyev pledged his country’s ongoing support for the WCO, especially through the upcoming WCO IT/TI Conference and Exhibition scheduled to be held in Baku from 12 to 14 June this year.

During the bilateral meeting, Prime Minister Mammadov also recalled his fond memories of visiting the WCO in 2003 together with President Aliyev and expressed his desire to deepen his country’s connectivity with its neighbours, in line with WCO's policy.  Dr. Mikuriya supported Prime Minister Mammadov’s objective of greater interoperability between Customs administrations.

Secretary General Mikuriya visited the newly developed Customs infrastructure, including the railway Customs and centralized clearance centre, where he observed the enhanced application of technology for ease of business and efficient risk management.

Additionally, he had an opportunity to address participants at the opening session of the Asian Development Bank’s Seminar on Trade Facilitation, held at the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) for Europe in Baku.

The Secretary General’s visit to Azerbaijan was extensively covered by the local media.

More Information

Please watch here the video on the meeting with President Aliyev.