TODAY IS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2019, 2:02:01 AM

bulavinvi_eng Vladimir Ivanovich Bulavin
 Head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation
The simplified procedure of customs clearance is at the centre of attention of customs officers and businessmen
On September 6th, 2005 another meeting was held between senior officers from FCS of Russia and representatives of business circles within the framework of the ongoing “customs – business” dialogue.

The topic for discussion was Order № 409 of the FCS of Russia, dated May 4th, 2005 “On the approval of senior customs officers’ actions in the forming and application of the list of persons conveying goods subject to simplified control procedure”.

The keynote speaker was Sergey Grechishnikov, Head of one of the Departments of Main Administration of customs control. The attention of the participants of the meeting was drawn to the Risks Management System (RMS), which is to be created and implemented in four phases. Customs authorities started to develop this system in 2000. The initial phase of the work lasted until 2003, when the Concept of risks management of the customs of Russia was prepared and then adopted.

Presently the FCS officers are realizing the tasks of the second phase of RMS, started in 2004. The technological processes will be formed by the end of this year, which will enable customs officers to start trying all the components of the system in operational mode.

At this transitional period, which is expected to last until 2008, it is intended to check the IT and methodical parameters of the RMS. The system is to be fully operational after 2008.

The system being developed has been highly appraised by experts of the European Union, who acquainted themselves with the results of the FCS of Russia in this field. Their opinion has been very favorable for Russian customs officers, especially if you take into account the fact that EC countries are working on the same system, and are going to transfer to it by 2007.

In addition to that, in the last few years the specialists of the Russian customs service have actively acquired international experience in the field. They have studied the work of the customs administrations of Sweden, France, Germany, China, Argentina, India and other countries, and have managed to adapt many of the things they learned to local conditions.

Forming the Risks Management System (RMS) is a long process. For example, the US needed 25 years and spent four billion United States dollars on it. The European countries have spent from 8 to 15 years on it. However, even at the start of the process, the FCS is always keeping the first goal of the RMS in mind, which is the rational utilization of all the resources at the disposal of the customs service in order to run efficient customs control. Swedish customs is a good example in this respect. In this Scandinavian country, some two thousand customs officers process around 5.5 million cargo customs declarations a year. Statistics for this country are accordingly 68 thousand customs employees and 2.5 million cargo customs declarations.

The principle of street traffic control lights has been chosen as the main vector of developing the simplified customs control. The “red” light is directly related to the utilization of risk profiles. There are plans to completely remove the so-called human factor by means of automation of the whole control process. The “yellow” light is a routine tool related to the physical inspection of goods and checking of documents. And finally, the “green” light is expected to become a major part of the activities of customs authorities.

This will reduce the period of time required for the issue of goods in free circulation, which is to reach two days in 2006, and later just one day. It was stressed that the Russian customs service is oriented towards foreign experience, mainly European experience of the simplification of customs control, which includes post-audit, with selective control of foreign trade participants, and also the practice of random selection, which has been called the “random-number generator” system. Of course, intuition should not be totally excluded from the process as it is based on the personal experience of each particular customs officer.

At the end of the meeting, which proved very interesting for the participants of foreign trade and which received applications for participation from more than 100 Russian and foreign companies and associations, S.Grechishnikov answered a number of questions. In particular, he explained the procedure of compiling the list of foreign trade participants, which are to be controlled according to the simplified customs procedure and the prospects of enhancing this procedure.

The problem of interdepartmental interaction was also touched upon by a number of companies involved in foreign trade operations. Thus it was acknowledged that various divisions of the FCS of Russia sometimes employ different approaches to the simplified procedure of customs control. Nevertheless, it was stated that such discrepancies were recognized and were gradually being eradicated. A single approach is going to be worked out with time. Thus, Administrative Order № 409 may be deemed already in the process of being realized, and life is to make certain amendments into it.