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EU Customs Project Regional Cooperation
Conference for Central Asian Customs Services and Representatives of importers and exporters.

Following the recent American Chamber of Commerce sponsored trade facilitation conference at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bishkek (24th and 25th April 2008), the EU Customs Reform and Modernization Project has sponsored a related Conference at the State Customs Committee HQ in Bishkek.

Working session of Conference participants

Day One, on 15th May, was attended by representatives of the Customs Services of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, together with several individual trading companies and Trade Sector representatives as well as Kyrgyz Government Ministries, particularly the Ministry of Economic Development, the resident representative of the Customs Service of the Russian Federation and international donor agencies.
On the second day (16th) the Customs Services continued to meet to discuss ways of increasing strategic and operational cooperation, with the aims of improving compliance with Customs regulations, protection of revenues and combating risks against society, and ways of doing this whilst equally facilitating legitimate trade.
A key point from the first day was that there was a need to improve the coordination of movements of perishable goods such as fruit and vegetables. Central Asian States have particular market advantages here as their products do not typically use artificial chemicals, but this also means they deteriorate sooner.
As a result of the ideas exchanged, the EU Customs Project and State Customs Committee of Kyrgyzstan will put forth proposals to neighboring Customs Services and trade bodies for the Project's sponsoring of near future meetings on the borders. It is hoped that the Project will sponsor briefings for local farmers and agricultural companies intended to improve their understanding of required Customs regulations, resulting in faster movement of such goods.

General picture of Conference participants

The EU Customs Project is funded by the European Commission and supervised by the European Commission Delegation to the Kyrgyz Republic. There is close cooperation with an equivalent EU Customs Project in Tajikistan. 

Uzbekistan Customs Services were unable to attend but will be involved in the preparation for future meetings.

Discovery AmCham Kyrgyz Republic #3/2008


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