The SCO combats the smuggling and violations in the customs sphere

The twenty-first meeting of the working group on customs cooperation of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held on August 13-14, 2013 in the city of Samara on the basis of the Volga Region Customs Administration. The event was attended by representatives of all member countries of the SCO and of the SCO Secretariat.

The participants of the meeting discussed a number of important and topical issues. In particular, one of the issues for discussion was the organization of cooperation in the prevention of smuggling and violations in the customs sphere. “This is a new direction of cooperation between customs services of the SCO, which was determined by the heads of governments of member countries of the SCO. At this stage, the customs services has exchanged information on cooperation in the framework of bilateral cooperation. We  have to find common ground for all six customs services,”- said Natalia Vorontsova, the first Deputy Head of the Department of Customs Cooperation of the FCS of Russia.

The customs service tracks crossing the border of the trademark to be protected by the state, so another important issue for discussion at the meeting was the implementation of the Memorandum between the customs services of member countries of the SCO on Cooperation for the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights. The Memorandum was signed on December 5, 2012. “This topic is still important for customs services, because Memorandum concerns the real issues of prevention of smuggling, fight for copyright - says Natalia Vorontsova. - Today we discussed the ways of cooperation in this area.” The Russian side made certain proposals for implementation of the Memorandum between the customs services of the member countries of the SCO. All controversial issues were clarified and a compromise was made.

In addition, the parties discussed the issue of cooperation in the field of risk management system (RMS) between the customs authorities of member states of the SCO. Regarding this matter, it was decided at the meeting to consider the draft Memorandum on cooperation in the development and application of risk management systems between customs services proposed by the Russian side. This memorandum defines the main directions of interaction and cooperation, including the exchange of non-confidential information about the methods and technologies of application of risk management system, as well as about experience in this field. The Memorandum provides for implementation of joint researches, conferences and seminars.

Another issue - on the implementation of the adopted document – of the Protocol on the exchange of information in the field of control over energy transfer. It was signed in October 2008 in Astana at the meeting of the Council of the Heads of Governments of member states of the SCO. This is one of the first protocols signed by the heads of customs services of member states of the SCO. The sides exchanged views on the protocol’s functioning and the practical results achieved by means of this protocol.

Summarizing the results of the meeting, special attention was paid to the issue of implementation of earlier agreements. The participants prepared an illustrative list of forms of implementation of measures for the further development of project activities within the framework of the SCO for 2012-2016.