Regional Office for Capacity Building for the World Customs Organization Europe Region

  • English
  • Русский

In a significant move to bolster cooperation and streamline international transport corridors, the ROCB Europe held an online meeting on February 15, 2024, with the Permanent Secretariat of the TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) Intergovernmental Commission. This meeting followed a request from TRACECA, underscoring the mutual interest in enhancing cooperation within the sectors of customs and transport management.

Notably, 13 out of the 14 countries represented in the Asia, Caucasus, and Europe region operating under TRACECA (excluding the Islamic Republic of Iran) fall within the  World Customs Organization Europe Region, underscoring the strategic significance of this collaboration.

Key Participants and Discussions

The meeting witnessed the participation of esteemed representatives from both sides, including Aset Asavbayev, Secretary General of the TRACECA Permanent Secretariat; Baurjan Kusubayev, Head of Monitoring and Policy Development Department; Samira Rafizadeh, Head of the International Cooperation Department; and Goran Andreev, an expert on border crossing from the TRACECA side.

The dialogue centered around the expansion of cooperation within the TRACECA framework, with Secretary General Asavbayev presenting insights into the activities, developments, and new initiatives of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor. Topics of discussion included the corridor’s activity expansion, cooperation with the European Union, and other pertinent issues.

Focus Areas

During the meeting, the parties discussed the potential for jointly organizing advanced training courses, seminars, and other educational initiatives for the customs administrations of the TRACECA corridor member countries, acknowledging that ROCB Europe encompasses a broad region and possesses extensive experience. This initiative is aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of customs personnel, further contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of customs operations along the TRACECA corridor.

A significant emphasis was placed on the role of the TRACECA program in enhancing the competitiveness and efficiency of the international transport corridor. The meeting highlighted the importance of expanding the corridor's scope, increasing transportation efficiency through digitalization, and facilitating border-crossing procedures. The ROCB Europe’s efforts (trainings) in simplifying transit customs procedures using the "Single Window" principle and promoting Authorized Economic Operators (AEOs) were particularly noted for their role in supporting the implementation of international customs and trade standards.

Future Collaborative Efforts

To cement the foundation for ongoing collaboration, it was resolved to establish a working group aimed at preparing and signing a protocol of mutual intention. This initiative is poised to ensure the more effective implementation of future joint activities, fostering support and the development of mutual cooperation efforts between ROCB Europe and TRACECA.