Customs reform on course in Tajikistan, with the President’s support

25 September 2019

At the invitation of Mr. Khurshed Karimzoda, Director General of the Customs Service of Tajikistan, WCO Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Dushanbe, Tajikistan on 23 and 24 September 2019 to meet political leaders and observe the state of play regarding Customs reform.

Dr. Mikuriya met with Customs management and discussed the advances made in relation to the rollout of infrastructure and technology in Customs since his last visit to the country five years ago. During his stay, he also visited the central Customs clearance terminal in Dushanbe and the western Customs Dusti border post, in Tursunzoda, bordering Uzbekistan, to witness clearance and inspection procedures.

In addition, Secretary General Mikuriya was received by the President of Tajikistan, H.E. Emomali Rahmon, to exchange views on the status of Customs modernization. They agreed that much progress had been made in Customs but there was still room for improvement in some areas, including capacity building for Customs bodies. The WCO could offer Tajikistan Customs officers opportunities for intensified exposure, strengthening of human networks, and harmonization of border procedures with neighbouring countries in a bid to enhance connectivity at borders. In a subsequent meeting with Tajikistan’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Fayziddin Qahhorzoda, the Secretary General focused in greater detail on the way forward for modernizing Tajikistan Customs.

While in Dushanbe, Dr. Mikuriya was invited to give a lecture on the WCO’s work at the Tajik National University, where he enjoyed the lively interaction with the country’s future graduates and young talent. Secretary General Mikuriya also took the opportunity to visit agricultural areas, given that Tajikistan has a strong farming tradition with cotton and wheat being the two main cash crops.