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Summit of Russian and South Korean Customs Heads

On July 22, 2008 Federal Customs Service Head Andrei Belyaninov met with the Republic of Korea Customs Service Head Hou Yang Souk. The official talks were also attended by representatives of various departments of the Central Apparat of the Russian Customs and their South Korean counterparts.

Russian Customs Head said that in the recent years customs authorities have successfully cooperated with a number of large manufacturing companies from the Republic of Korea to provide price lists for their products being supplied to the Russian market. In this connection, A. Belyaninov spoke of the interest of the Russian customs service in establishing with their South Korean counterparts the practice of providing advance information on the delivery of goods in bilateral trade. According to Russian Customs Head, "this practice would be beneficial for everyone except non-transparent companies". In particular, the Russian party noted that starting from January 1, 2009 a preliminary information exchange between the Russian Federation and the European Union is planned to be launched.

At the same time, Korean colleagues made a proposal to organize customs statistics data exchange, which would allow by means of comparative analysis methods to detect smuggling channels and "grey" schemes in trade transactions between the two countries. The implementation of these proposals, according to the Russian party, would not only facilitate bilateral trade, reducing delays for customs clearance, but would also provide greater access to Korean investments in Russia.

In his turn, Hou Yang Souk expressed interest of the Republic of Korea Customs Service to develop cooperation between customs officials of the two countries in exchanging experience in canine services organization.

Particular attention during the meeting was placed on improving cooperation in combating smuggling of drugs and seafood, which is of concern to customs officials of both nations. It was noted that such interaction should be expanded and improved.

Russian and South Korean Customs Services Heads appreciated the exchange of views and expressed the desire to early formalize reached agreements.