From 4 to 12 February 2020 the INCU Baku Regional Office held its 4th International Winter School in Baku, Azerbaijan.
The 9-day International Winter School 2020 was organised in partnership with the Academy of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and included three workshops, student group project work, group presentations, special guest lecture, the INCU’s 15th anniversary celebration and visits to a local university, the Customs museum, the WCO Regional Dog Training Centre as well as some social and cultural activities.
The official opening ceremony and first three days of classes and training sessions were held at WCO European Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) located in Baku. At the opening ceremony, welcoming and opening remarks were delivered by the Rector of Azerbaijan Customs Academy, Mr Gulu Novruzov, Director of the WCO ROCB, Mr Eser Cengel, and Head of INCU Secretariat, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Rector of the Academy of State Customs Committee, Gulu Novruzov, informed about the customs reforms in Azerbaijan and emphasised that the improvement of education has been identified as a priority area for the reforms in the customs administration. Noting that the Academy is a member of INCU which hosts the INCU Baku Regional Office, Mr Novruzov pointed out that the International Winter School is part of the Academy’s 2020 agenda for international cooperation, highlighted the importance of the topics covered in the Winter School program and recommended that participants use this opportunity to gain maximum amount of knowledge from the experienced instructors and to network with other participants to exchange experiences and learn from each other.
The Director of the WCO ROCB, Mr Eser Cengel welcomed the participants to the ROCB and expressed confidence that the event would contribute to the development of human resources in Customs and provide an excellent opportunity to international networking and future cooperation. Then, Head of INCU Secretariat, Dr Mikhail Kashubsky also welcomed the participants to the 4th International Winter School and expressed his gratitude to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan Customs Academy for their continuing support of the INCU Regional Office activities and to the WCO ROCB for giving access to its state of the art facilities.
Three workshops/training courses were delivered during the Winter School program on the following topics:
- Quality of Customs Services and Marketing in Customs
- Tariff Classification and Preferential Rules of Origin; and
- The Basics of Academic Research and Writing.
These workshops were delivered by Associate Professor Dariya Shtrikova from Samara State Technical University, Associate Professor Galina Fedotova from the Russian Presidential Academy in Saint-Petersburg and Associate Professor Mikhail Kashubsky from the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, Charles Sturt University. Participants were also required to work in small groups over the course of several days in order to complete a group project on a specific topic relating to ‘collaborative border management’ and make a presentation the class about it. On the last day of the Winter School participants had an opportunity to listen to a special guest lecture on the topic of ‘project management’ that was delivered by Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, Professor Igbal Babayev.
Approximately 40 participants attended the INCU Winter School including students (and in some cases faculty members) from the Presidential Academy in Saint-Petersburg, Samara State Technical University, Russian Customs Academy, Customs Institute of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan Customs Academy, Azerbaijan State University of Economics, National Aviation Academy of Azerbaijan and Baku Higher Oil School.
The Winter School also included a formal visit to the new campus of Baku Higher Oil School, official dinner on 7 February 2020 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the INCU, and an extensive cultural program on the weekend with several tours and excursions.
The closing ceremony of the 4th International INCU Winter School was held on 12 February 2020 on the campus of Azerbaijan Customs Academy during which participants received Certificates of Completion for their participation in the Winter School.
- International Winter School 2020 Program/Agenda
- Course/Workshop Overview – Quality of Customs Services and Marketing in Customs
- Course/Workshop Overview – Tariff Classification and Preferrential Rules of Origin
- Course/Workshop Overview – The Basic of Academic Research and Writing
- Presentation on INCU’s Role in Interantional Customs Education, Research and Capacity Building
- Video report about 4th INCU Baku Regional Office International Winter School