Progress in Customs reform discussed with Turkmenistan

29 September 2023

At the invitation of the Government of Turkmenistan, Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya visited the country on 27 and 28 September 2023 to discuss its progress in Customs reform.

During his meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Rashid Meredov, Dr. Mikuriya was updated on the advancements made since his last visit in 2019. Minister Meredov highlighted that, since 2019,Turkmenistan has been working towards an open-border policy. As part of this effort, the country initiated steps for its accession to WCO instruments like the Harmonized System (HS) and the Revised Kyoto Conventions (RKC). There have also been significant strides in digitalizing Customs procedures. After fulfilling all necessary legal requirements, Turkmenistan sought WCO’s support in furthering Customs modernization. 

Dr. Mikuriya acknowledged Turkmenistan’s consistent progress in the legal adoption of WCO and other international standards, as well as its introduction of technology to bolster border connectivity. To ensure genuine implementation of these international standards and to optimize the use of technology, addressing human resources issues is imperative. In this regard, he commended Turkmenistan’s active participation in WCO programmes such as the Career Development Programme and its role in hosting several regional and sub-regional WCO events. 

Reacting to Minister Meredov’s explanations on Turkmenistan’s endeavours to enhance bilateral ties with the neighbouring countries, especially in light of the prospective Middle Corridor initiative, Dr. Mikuriya shared several best practices. These include instituting bilateral MOUs. He also emphasized the significance of regional cooperation among Central Asian countries in the global context. Both parties concurred on the roadmap to further Customs modernization.

Additionally, Dr. Mikuriya met with the Chairman of the State Customs Service, Mr. Maksat Hudaykuliyev, and his management team to assess the headway made by the Customs department. He also toured the newly inaugurated Customs office in Arcadag City. Since his visit coincided with both the 32nd anniversary of Turkmenistan’s Independence Day and the 30th anniversary of its WCO Membership, Dr. Mikuriya participated in the festivities, and his congratulatory message received wide circulation.