Series of OSCE-supported training courses for customs officers from Afghanistan, Tajikistan concludes in Dushanbe



Deputy Chief of Customs Service of Tajikistan Negmat Rahmatov, Director of OSCE Border Management Staff College Henryk Raczkowski, Director General of Austrian Customs Hans-Gorg Kramer, Director General of Afghan Customs Najibullah Wardak and his Deputy Khaliqullah Abdul Raouf attended a conference to mark the conclusion of an OSCE-supported project ‘Strengthening the Customs Administration of Afghanistan’. Dushanbe, Tajikistan, 5 November 2013 (OSCE BMSC/Ilona Kazaryan)

DUSHANBE, 5 November 2013 – A conference to mark the conclusion of an OSCE-supported project ‘Strengthening the Customs Administration of Afghanistan’ funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance was held at the Border Management Staff College today.

As a result of the project, 180 customs officers from Afghanistan and 75 customs officers from Tajikistan were trained in 15 workshops delivered by instructors from the Austrian Customs. In the course of the project the participants were presented a detailed review of best practices with respect to trade and transport facilitation, guidelines and recommendations. They had an opportunity to exchange views on the common framework for customs procedures, as well as country-specific experiences and assessments.

The final conference of the project was attended by senior diplomats and representatives of the international community working in Tajikistan.

Henryk Raczkowski, the Director of the OSCE Border Management Staff College, said: “This joint initiative aimed at fostering partnerships and communication between the customs authorities of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Austria, to help ensure open yet secure borders and facilitate trade that would contribute to economic development in the whole Central Asian region.”

During the conference the Heads of the Austrian and the Afghan customs services expressed their interest in furthering capacity-building initiatives.

Director General of Austrian Customs Authorities Hans-Gorg Kramer said: “The project was a success only thanks to the fruitful co-operation between the Afghan, Tajik, Austrian customs administrations and the OSCE. We are happy that we had an opportunity to exchange experiences with and to contribute to further professional development of the highly motivated colleagues from Afghanistan and Tajikistan with whom we interacted during the project.”

Najibullah Wardak, Director General of Afghan Customs stressed that this project is an important effort in developing Afghan customs administration and expressed his hope that the co-operation would continue and expand in the forthcoming years. He said that an agreement between customs services of Afghanistan and Tajikistan is drafted to be signed in the near future. The agreement will facilitate data exchange between the customs services of the two countries and contribute to the continuation of co-operation, he added.