SECO-WCO GTFP concludes its assistance in Uzbekistan

21 December 2023

On 14 December 2023, the SECO-WCO Global Trade Facilitation Programme (GTFP) held an official closing event to mark the successful conclusion of its support in Uzbekistan.

The Customs Committee became a full-fledged beneficiary of the GTFP in 2021, and within 2.5 years, the programme’s activities have benefitted 305 officials, contributing to Uzbekistan’s capacity building efforts for a comprehensive Customs reform.

As a result of the GTFP assistance, the Customs Committee of Uzbekistan developed and implemented its first Customs-specific strategic plan and significantly enhanced its compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement by increasing its risk management effectivity, streamlining data input through the Single Window, and introducing post clearance audit.

The closing event also served as an opportunity for the Customs Committee to present the official overall results of the first Time Release Study conducted in Uzbekistan with the collaborative support of the GTFP and the World Bank, establishing the average clearance time for import via road transport at 3d 1hr 17min, for import via railway at 3d 12 hours, for export via road transport: 17hr 5min, and for export via railway at 2d 16hr 7min.

On this occasion, the National Programme Steering Committee (NPSC) convened, reviewed the programme results, and officially concluded the project in the country.  The meeting was held with the participation of the Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Head of Cooperation of the Embassy of Switzerland in Uzbekistan, and members of the NPSC representing public agencies and the private sector.  

During the NPSC meeting, the Customs Committee representatives shared the impact of its reform initiatives resulting from GTFP capacity-building activities and recommendations, highlighting enhanced connectivity and transparency in its trade processes owing to the major automation efforts, significantly reducing Customs processing time.

The commendable efforts by the Customs Committee, reflecting its progress in the last two years, are also evident in a number of international performance indicators, with a 19% increase in the OECD Trade Facilitation Indicator and a 23% improvement in the World Bank Logistics Performance Index.   

The successful conclusion of the GTFP in Uzbekistan stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of all stakeholders involved, paving the way for enhanced trade facilitation and efficiency in the country's Customs procedures.

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