January, 26th – The International Day of the Customs Officer

On January, 26th the customs officers of the whole world celebrate their professional holiday. The tradition to fete customs officers on this day has existed since January, 1983 when the World Customs Organization (WTO) celebrated its 30-year-old anniversary. Today 178 countries are the members of WTO, including Russia.

The Russian Customs Service is renowned in the World Customs Community. The work of representatives of FCS of Russia contributes much to it. Nowadays, FCS of Russia has got its representatives in 17 countries: Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, China, the Republic of Korea, India, Latvia, Turkey, Finland and Japan. The decision to send a Russian FCS representative to Argentina was taken. The Customs representatives take part in the World Trade Organization activities, in the work of Russian-EU Sub-committee on customs and transboundary collaboration, in the activities along the line of the Asian and Pacific Collaboration Forum, as well as Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the frames of the Special Working Group on customs collaboration.

The International collaboration helps to strengthen the international relations and develop the world trade. It can also become a solid foundation for deeper economic integration of countries.


  EurAsEC, CIS, Union State, Customs Union

During the process of the Customs Union creation, the collaboration between Russian FCS and the Customs authorities of Belarus and Kazakhstan was strengthened. In 2011 this work resulted in shaping of the united customs territory of the Customs Union. Since July 1, 2011 customs, transport, sanitary-quarantine, veterinary, phytosanitary quarantine inspection has been avoided on the internal borders of the Customs Union.


In 2011 FCS of Russia widely participated in the meetings of the Customs Union Committee and Interstate Council of EurAsEC (on the level of the Heads of States and Governments). The decisions taken at these meetings enabled to finalize the contractual-legislative framework of the Customs Union to launch the functioning of the Common Free Market Zone from January 1, 2012. The sessions of the United Board of Customs Authorities of the Customs Union member states took place.


The strengthening of integration processes on the territory of CIS and EurAsEC went on. The activities were carried out on the level of integration authorities and Councils of CIS and EurAsEC Customs Services. The main efforts were directed to unify the Customs Legislation norms, improve the information technologies and simplify the customs procedures.


The collaboration of Russian and Ukrainian customs officers is developing. The 2nd Interregional Russian-Ukranian Economic Forum with the participation of the presidents of two countries took place in October 2011 in Donetsk. Within the frames of the Forum, the following documents were ratified: the Agreement between the Russian Federation Government and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine about the cooperation by carrying out of mutual inspection of persons, vehicles and goods on the Russian-Ukrainian border and the Protocol between the Federal Customs Service and the State Customs Service of Ukraine on mutualrecognition of certain results of the customs control of goods and vehicles by carrying out of customs operations upon Russian-Ukraine state border crossing.


To simplify the procedures of customs control, the border and customs control of the passengers, crossing the Russian-Ukrainian border by trains No. 1/2 "Moscow-Kiev-Moscow", is organized on the terminus stations without stopping at the state border at night.


Approaching the European Football Championship (EURO-2012), the Russian and Ukrainian Customs Services are working out possible simplification of customs formalities on the Russian-Ukrainian border during the Championship period.


Interaction with Customs Services of Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova and Tajikistan is developing. Approval stage of the Agreements between Russian FCS and the Customs Services of Abkhazia and South Ossetia about the procedure of creation, functioning and responsibilities of specialized customs authorities is close to completion. FCS of Russia advises regularly the Customs Services of Abkhazia and South Ossetia on the questions of customs registration and control as well as on the national legislation framework improvement.


The cooperation with the Customs services of European states is deployed within the framework of the Russian-EU cooperation projects and on bilateral basis. The implementation of the pilot project on the computer-managed data sharing between the Customs services of EU member states and the Russian Customs Authorities is in progress. The project unites 13 EU member states (Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Estonia).


Last year, the strongest bilateral contacts were established with Customs Services of Germany, Latvia, Finland, France and the Netherlands. The Memorandum abouthigh-priority lines of cooperation between Russian FCS and State Customs Office of Finland for years 2011-2012 was signed in May 2011.


Asian-Pacific Region

The collaboration with the Customs services of non-CIS countries is gradually developing. One of the high-priority lines is collaboration with the colleagues from Asian-Pacific region states, i.e.: China, India, Vietnam, and the Republic of Korea.


The 3d Conference of the Russian-Chinese Sub-committee on customs collaboration within the scope of the Committee for preparation of regular meetings of the heads of the Russian and Chinese Government became a big event in October 2011.


The Memorandum on mutual understanding between the Federal Customs Service (the Russian Federation) and the Chief Excise Tax Office and Customs of the Republic of India on the exchange of the statistics data on Foreign Trade was ratified in March 2011.


FCS of Russia responded to the request of the Customs Services of Vietnam and Mongolia to organize the training of customs officials of these states on the base of the Russian Customs Academy. The Mongolian customs officers have been trained in the Academy, including its affiliate in Vladivostok, since September 2011.


Latin America 

In 2011 FCS of Russia paid special attention to the development of customs cooperation with the countries of Latin America. It is connected with mutual interests in the development of trade and economic relations. Experience has shown the necessity of the dialogue with the Latin American Customs services on practical issues of customs administration aimed to assist the foreign trade and counteract the law infringement. The international contracts in the domain of customs cooperation have also become a basis of the dialogue. Thus, the Agreement between the Governments of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Peru about mutual assistance in customs affairs was signed in July last year. In July 2011 FCS of Russia and the National Customs Service of Ecuador also signed the Protocol about the data sharing, characterizing the customs cost of goods and vehicles, transported between Russia and the Republic of Ecuador. The interaction between FCS of Russia and the Customs Services of the Republic of Paraguay and the Eastern Republic Uruguay has been established.

Collaboration on the law enforcement framework

The international collaboration in the domain of counteraction to the customs law infringement and counterfeit is one of high-priority activities of FCS of Russia. In 201 lthe work on the law enforcement cooperation was carried out within the scope of the Committee of the heads of law enforcement departments of the CIS member states' Customs Services. The main function of the Committee is to coordinate the activities of the customs authorities, aimed at counterfeit counteraction on the CIS territory.


In 2011, the Programs of the campaign against customs law infringement were ratified or prolonged together with the Customs authorities of China, Mongolia, Poland, Estonia, France, Finland, Ukraine, Armenia, and Uzbekistan. According to them, constant exchange of the live data is carried out as well as collaborative special customs operations take place.