Russian-Finnish seminar: cooperation and collaboration will continue

On September 10-12, 2013, a traditional annual Russian-Finnish seminar with participation of the heads of neighboring customs posts was held. Finnish customs officers were the host party this time.

The event was held in accordance with the plan of international customs cooperation between the customs authorities of the North-Western Customs Administration and that of Finland. There was also a meeting of the coordinators of the project “Cross-border cooperation.”

The agenda of the seminar this time included the issues concerning changes in placement of goods under the customs procedure of customs transit, the execution of customs control with the use of Inspection and Examination Complexes, the implementation of the risk management system, the adoption of 100% electronic declaration. The Finnish side also informed of changes in cross-border infrastructure.

It was generally agreed that cooperation between customs services of Russia and Finland at the regional level for the last year had been positive. The seminar was a good opportunity to summarize the interaction. Finnish customs officers said that the forthcoming organizational reforms will not practically affect border posts. On the contrary, they will be further developed and strengthened, including personnel development.

The events in Russia and in the world affect the activities of Russian and Finnish customs: the organization of the Customs Union, Russia's accession to the WTO, the implementation of “Road Map” measures, the increase in tourist traffic and many others. That's why the main issue of the agenda was the question: how to organize the work of the customs service at the Russian-Finnish border, so that people and goods could cross the checkpoints faster, but the customs control remained effective at the same time?

Under these conditions, Finland decided not only to reconstruct all the checkpoints with the help of EU funds, but also to develop a new concept of customs and border control of individuals. I is already working at the automobile border-crossing point Niirala (Vyartsilya) and is based on the principle of continuous motion when passengers do not need to go out of the car for passport control, if they are not at risk group.

Russian speakers analyzed the experience of the two supervisory authorities at the border. They also told the Finnish colleagues about the practice of the Federal Agency for State Border Infrastructure Development of the Russian Federation (Rosgranitsa) in the development of checkpoints, the introduction of new technologies for expediting goods turnover, simplification of customs control of individuals.

All participants of the seminar noted that it was very useful and informatively saturated.

In conclusion, the Russian side invited the Finnish colleagues to take part in the traditional annual exhibition “Customs of the North-West”, which will be held in June 2014 in “Lenexpo” in St. Petersburg.