TODAY IS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2018, 11:47:25 PM
The Kaliningrad experience of the FCS in the spotlight of foreign attache

A two-day workshop was held on the basis of the Kaliningrad customs house dedicated to the study of experience of functioning of customs services of Russia functioning on its western border. The session was organized by the Moscow International Club of customs attache, working in the Russian Federation, and by the Department of customs cooperation of the FCS of Russia. Apart from foreign attache of member states of European Union, Community of Independent States and China, the Russia’s enclave was visited by a group of members of business circles from China. They were all united by a desire to familiarize themselves in details with the practices of customs clearance of imported goods, to make sure with their own eyes of the level of development of customs infrastructure existing in border regions of Russia and of the degree technique of customs authorities, equipped with modern hardware, enabling them to solve tasks, related to support of extension of international trade operations.

This interest is explained not only by seeking to be knowledgeable in more details about capabilities of the FCS, but by the wish to make sure of efficiency of previous projects being implemented in the field of mutual cooperation. In this respect, Alexander Podchistchayev, the Chairman of the Moscow International Club of customs attache, the Vice Rector of The Russian Customs Academy, pointed that Kaliningrad region presents one of the spheres of close interaction of the FCS and the Commission of European Communities (CEC). Above all, it refers to development of border checkpoints, which current number amounts to 18 in the region. This amount, in consideration of current and prospective sales volume, is insufficient in addition to the need for modernization of the functioning checkpoints. Within the last few years the Russian customs agency has been doing much in this direction, working towards prospective development. In so doing, it bases itself upon financial support, provided by CEC. Amongst the largest joint projects are: development of the international road checkpoints (IRCP) “Chernishevskoye”, “Sovietsk”, “Mamonovo-Gzhekhotki”. Construction of the checkpoint “Chernishevskoye”, with CEC’s allocation amounting to 8 million euro, at Russian-lithuanian border is nearing its completion. The Commission of European Communities is ready to allocate 10 mln. euro for development of two checkpoints – “Sovietsk” and “Mamonovo-Gzhekhotki”. The scope of this cooperation can be estimated by the fact that the capacity of the checkpoint “Mamonovo-Gzhekhotki”, intended to ensure road traffic of the international transport corridor Riga-Gdansk, will increase up to 4000 motor vehicles per day, including 150 buses, 2600 auto cars and 1250 trucks.

Even today, the results of this cooperation can be estimated from a practical standpoint.  An example of general vision of prospects of Russian customs service and its foreign partners is the checkpoint of “Bagrationovsk”, situated on the Russian-polish border. The European Union took part in financing of development of this checkpoint. It is not surprising that participants of this workshop visited Bagrationovsk and deservedly evaluated not only quality of construction works and technique of the IRCP, but gave honorable mention in regard with occupational skills of its customs officers, their high culture of communication with participants of foreign economic activities.

However, the workshop agenda would not be restricted to discussion of customs issues. It was not less important that Chinese businessmen, interestingly listening to explanations on existing status of the regional economy and its prospective development, expressed readiness to take active part in economic projects in Kaliningrad region.

Results of the accomplished workshop give reasons to hope for further extension of international cooperation between Russia and partner-states both in the West and in the East. As they are confident in the FCS of Russia, customs issues will not be set aside. Moreover, there is a good reason for this confidence. The Moscow International Club of customs attache will celebrate its 5th anniversary next year.