A total of 7 meetings of Heads of Customs Administrations, 11 Working Group Meetings on Customs Cooperation, various workshops, field visits and training seminars have been organized up to this date.
Today customs has become the hub around which the wheel of globalization turns, and that hub must be both strong and flexible in order to global trade operate efficiently.
Turkic Council attributes great importance to cooperation in areas of customs. With the aim to discuss customs cooperation and to promote facilitation of customs procedures among the Member States the Meetings of Heads of the Customs Administrations and Working Group on Customs Cooperation are holds regularly.
The Heads of Customs Administrations have held 7 meetings and the Working Group on customs has gathered 11 times so far. Moreover, the “Memorandum of Understanding between Turkic Council and World Customs Organization (WCO)” was signed by Secretaries General of these organizations in February 2015 in Brussels. Secretary General of the WCO attended the 4th Meeting of Heads of Customs Administrations in July 2015 in Bishkek.
During the last 6th meeting of Heads of Customs Administrations held on 12 May 2017 in Antalya, the delegations approved the “Memorandum of Understanding among Member States of Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States on Cooperation in the Field of Customs Enforcement” and also welcomed the initialization of the Turkic Council Modern Silk Road Trade Caravan Demonstration Tour aimed at promoting Central Transport Corridor passing through the territories of the Member States.
In order to promote joint actions and projects strengthening customs cooperation among the Silk Road countries through concrete steps, the field visits of the delegations consisted from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan experts and Turkic Council Secretariat were organized to certain Border Crossing Points (BCP) of the Member States, including Azerbaijan-Georgia, “Red Bridge” BCP and Baku International Trade Sea Port, in Kyrgyzstan: Kyrgyz-Chinese “Torugart” and “Irkeshtam” BCP’s, in Kazakhstan: Kazakh-Chinese “Altynkol”, “Nur-Zholy” BCP’s and “Khorgoz” Free Trade Zone, in Turkey “Kapikule” BCP.
The aim of the visit was to get familiarized with the Built-Operate-Transfer system of building and modernizing BCPs around Turkey that were realized within the public-private partnership framework.
Moreover, the Secretariat participated in the 7th and 8th International Forum on the Role of Customs Administrations in Promoting and Facilitating Trade among the Silk Road Countries held respectively in Aktau (2017) and in Bishkek (2018). Furthermore, aiming to deepen the cooperation within “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Member States decided to intensify their efforts for the official inclusion of China to the Caravanserai Project. This will allow creating a win-win situation for all the stakeholders concerned along the Middle Corridor, passing through the Member States of the Turkic Council.
Along with other activities in this field, the Secretariat of Turkic Council is also support for capacity building in the course of promoting customs facilitation through organizing a series of regional workshops. So far several regional and international workshops on “Post Clearance and Risk management”, “Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) System” and “Customs Transit Facilitation”, “Electronic TIR System” were organized in Ankara, Astana, Baku, Bishkek and Izmir by support of the relevant authorities from Member States and close collaboration of international organizations such as World Customs Organization (WCO), USAID, GTZ, IRU, EU and etc.
In addition, at the 6th and 7th Summits of the Turkic Council that was held in in Cholpan-Ata, Kyrgyzstan, (2018) and Baku, Azerbaijan (2019) the Heads of States of the Turkic Council Member States encouraged the use of mechanisms for the simplification of export and import procedures and introduction of advanced information exchange system, as well as modern and IT based transit procedures among customs authorities of the Member States, underscored the significance of the modernization of border gates; and called on the Member States the facilitation of border crossings in a more effective and faster manner. They also highlighted the importance of streamlining customs and administrative procedures of the Member States to exploit the full potential of the Trans-Caspian International East-West Transport Corridor; revitalizing Silk Road through customs cooperation within the framework of Caravanserai Project.
During the 7th Meeting of the Heads of Customs Administrations of the Turkic Council held on 11 March 2019 in Nur-Sultan, the Member States of the Turkic Council signed “Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among the Customs Administrations of the Member States of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States on Cooperation in the field of Customs Enforcement”, that aims to strengthen cooperation in customs enforcement by exchange of information, experience, and promotion of training seminars.