Russian-Turkish Customs Cooperation

In January, 2007, during the visit of President of the Russian Federation to Turkey questions concerning bilateral customs cooperation were discussed among others. After the negotiations Russian President ordered Russian Federal Customs Service to prepare a range of measures to facilitate Turkish goods clearance.

During 2007 Russian Customs Service developed a scheme of expedited clearance for Turkish goods. A project of interdepartmental protocol “Organization of interaction in customs clearance and control of goods transported by air over the state border” between Federal Customs Service and the Republic of Turkey Government Customs Department was prepared. The protocol contains description of a mechanism, which allows on the basis of confirmed advance information about goods exported from Turkey to simplify customs clearance and to make customs control over imported commodities more effective. It is believed in FCS of the Russian Federation that the future agreement will be appreciated first of all by Turkish manufacturers and honest exporters and importers.

Measures against Turkish goods smuggling were also taken. It caused strong reaction of transnational criminal groups, composed of Russian and Turkish citizens among others. In 2008 Russian Customs bodies filed 674 administrative and 41 criminal suits concerning goods and vehicles transported between Russia and Turkey.

Actions taken by the Russian Customs were approved by Turkish colleagues. In 2008 Russian delegation twice held negotiations with Turkish counterparts, discussing the project of interdepartmental protocol, proposed by the Russian party.

On September, 5, Russian FCS delegation visited the Turkish Republic. During the visit Head of the Russian FCS Andrei Belyaninov and Deputy Head of the Russian FCS Igor Zavrazhnov negotiated with Deputy Prime-Minister of Turkey Hayati Yazidzhi. The parties exchanged views on the project of the protocol, proposed by the Russian party. It was intended to sign the protocol during a visit of Turkish delegation, which is to take place in the nearest future.  

After the negotiations Head of the Russian FCS Andrei Belyaninov stressed in the interview to the journalists that the proposed scheme would allow to facilitate export of Turkish goods to Russia and would be a good protection for Turkish manufacturers. He also noticed that the proposed protocol is an example of strengthening and improving of cooperation between Russian and Turkish Customs Services.

Head of the Russian FCS said that information provided by a number of media about trucks queues at Russian border checkpoints is false. He denied claims about instructions to the Russian FCS to harden clearance for Turkish goods. Moreover FCS has lately facilitated clearance for a number of goods transported from Turkey, particularly mineral raw materials and car components.