Tajik customs officers tackle operational risks to improve business environment

28 January 2022
ITC News

Customs officials in Tajikistan have started 2022 using a new mechanism that will mitigate cross-border trade risks faster and easier. This will lead to a speedier movement of goods at low costs, and ultimately, a more conducive business environment.

The International Trade Centre’s European Union-funded Ready4Trade project supported Tajikistan’s Customs Service in updating the regulation on customs risk management and in developing a user guide that enables customs officials to enforce the regulation at the border.

The user guide provides a comprehensive list of actions for customs officers to rely on when developing a risk profile, suspend or cancel one, and record it in a tailored software.

Moreover, the guide allows customs officials to determine how to treat a red-flagged business, and more importantly, helps to facilitate efficiency and transparency of cross-border trade operations.

“We are glad to continue our fruitful cooperation with Tajikistan’s Customs Service,” said H.E. Marilyn Josefson, Ambassador of the European Union, Head of EU Delegation to Tajikistan. “This new regulation on risk management will reduce the time and cost of cross-border procedures for the private sector and improve the operations of the customs authorities. All these activities will ultimately result in Tajikistan’s compliance with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement,” she added. 

In addition to improving the effectiveness of customs control and inspection procedures, the reform also serves for transparent and law-abiding businesses to gain the so-called “white list” status.

Reputable businesses can avoid generalized suspicions and operate along an express lane, or “green line”, which facilitates faster and secure movement of their goods and improved cooperation with customs.

The country’s economy also benefits from a more efficient allocation of human resources in the field, prevention of risky customs operations, increased customs revenues, and improved compliance with laws.

Facilitating Tajikistan’s cross-border trade

Tajikistan’s regulation on customs risk management was initially adopted in 2011 but had not been updated since. Considering the significant technological developments that have taken place in the past decade, as well as the shifts in the economic, policy, trade and international relations landscapes, the regulation needed updates to provide a fast, automated, and easy-to-use mechanism for border agents.

“We are happy to see the adoption of effective measures on the modernization of the customs infrastructure in Tajikistan with the support of international organizations,” said Alijon Aliev, Senior Trade Facilitation Lead for the Ready4Trade project in Tajikistan.

“ITC will continue supporting Tajikistan’s Customs Service in updating important regulations and developing new ones to meet the demands of the modern era,” he reaffirmed.

Next steps

ITC and Customs Service agreed to jointly train border officials at the regional customs departments and main border crossing points.

Earlier, Ready4Trade supported Tajikistan’s Customs Service to develop and introduce a new “Authorized Economic Operator” (AEO) mechanism in Tajikistan. 

With Ready4Trade Central Asia, the European Union (EU) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) are joining forces to contribute to the overall sustainable and inclusive economic development of Central Asia by boosting intra-regional and international trade in the region.