Press Release 2011
CONTRUCTION BEGINS AT SITE OF NEW AFGHAN NATIONAL CUSTOMS ACADEMY, FUNDED BY THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPEAN UNION
December 13, 2011
Minister of Finance Omar Zakhilwal, U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker and EU Special Representative Vygaudas Ušackas joined Afghan officials and invited guests to lay a cornerstone to mark the start of construction on a permanent facility for the Afghan National Customs Department. This marked an important milestone in the continued development of Afghanistan’s professional customs force.
The Afghanistan National Customs Academy (ANCA) was formed in March 2010 as a center for training a professional customs force and ensuring that national standards are implemented across the country. In March 2010, using space provided by the Afghanistan Police Academy, ANCA graduated its first class of 48 students. In August 2011, ANCA graduated a total of 409 students from its eight-week customs training program.
The United States and European Union have agreed to fund a permanent training facility in Kabul in order to support ANCA’s critical role in producing trained customs agents. The European Union will provide approximately nine million dollars in funding, and the Department of Defense Counternarcotics, through the Border Management Task Force (BMTF), will provide an additional seven million dollars to construct this important training center.