Delegation of State Customs Committee visits Vienna and Brussels
07-March-2019 624

As part of the Hunter project implemented within the framework of joint cooperation of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and UK Border Agency, the first deputy chairman of the Committee, customs service Major-General Ismayil Huseynov, deputy chairman of the Committee, customs service Major-General Javad Gasimov, chief of the Main Department for Customs Risks Management and Audit Farid Aliyev and chiefs of relevant departments visited Vienna, Austria and Brussels, the Kingdom of Belgium.

It should be noted that as part of the Hunter project, the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and State Secretariat for the Home Office on behalf of the UK Border Guard signed a joint statement on February 19. The ceremony was attended by chairman of the State Customs Committee, customs service Lieutenant-General Safar Mehdiyev and UK Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Azerbaijan Baroness Emma Nicholson.

The declaration envisages creating international opportunities for analyzing information on cargos and persons crossing borders by simplifying customs and border procedures. Collecting Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record (PNR), as well as preventing transportation of goods and persons who are likely to harm the national interests of the countries are also among the goals of the project.

The main goal of the visit of the delegation of the State Customs Committee was to familiarize with 3 most prestigious international systems existing in the world practice in the area of targeting and risk management and to study the opportunities of applying the most advanced system in our country.

The abovementioned systems are the Gotravel system of the UN, Global Travelling Assessment System (GTAS) of the World Customs Organization and Automated Targeting System Global ATS of the US Customs and Border Protection.

As part of the trip the delegation first visited the UN office in Vienna, met with the organization's experts responsible for technological innovations programs and familiarized themselves with the presentations on global systems.

Chief of Strategic Solutions at the United Nations Office of Information and Telecommunication Technology Maurizio Gazzola and other experts gave detailed information about Gotravel system, said the system was launched by the Netherlands and the intellectual property right was given to the UN. The use of this system by the member states will be officially ensured this April. The experts demonstrated in demo version the system's capabilities of creating visual risk analysis through uniting API and PNR data in one base and processing the data, drew attention to the benefits of the system in combating international terrorism, determining targets and simplifying crossing of passengers based on effective risk management. One of the major advantages of the system is that there is automated information exchange among the countries using Gotravel system basing on mutual agreement.

In Brussels, the capital of Belgium, at the office of the World Customs Organization, the authorized representatives of the State Customs Committee met with the Compliance and Facilitation Directorate members responsible for security programs.

WCO technical officer Jatinder Randhawa made a presentation and gave information about WCO security programs "Passenger control", "Global shield", "Strategic trade", "Small and light arms" and "Financing terrorism". Then, the expert gave information about API and PNR, said the major system of the program had been worked out by the US customs administration in 2017.

GTAS rights were granted to the World Customs Organization and this system processes API/PNR data, practices the process of coordination on risk indicators.

It was said that this system was being used by the governments of Pakistan, Sweden, Estonia, Maldives and Uganda, was in the stage of preparation in a number of countries.

The experts of the US Customs and Border Protection demonstrated demo version of the system, gave information about the technical and visual features of the program. Representatives of the State Customs Committee talked about the current state of the abovementioned sphere in Azerbaijan, held discussions on the opportunities of applying GTAS in our country.

The next meeting as part of the visit was held at Hilton Hotel in Brussels with the project manager of ATS-G of the US Customs and Border Protection Gregory Falcon

The expert demonstrated the system's capability to analyze API and PNR data. It was said that the system was capable of making different analysis, exchanging and processing information not only among internal bodies, but also with countries on the international level. It was said that the system was applied in 22 countries, negotiations were underway with up to 20 countries.

During all the three meetings representatives of the State Customs Committee underlined the importance of using the abovementioned systems. It was underlined that prevention of terrorism on the international and national level, human trafficking, money laundering, illicit drug trafficking and other transnational crimes would be more effective through joint cooperation and application of advanced systems.