Uzbekistan to reform customs service

Tashkent, Uzbekistan ( -- On 12 April, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree “On measures for basic improvement of activity of state customs bodies of the Republic of Uzbekistan”.

The document is aimed at radically improving the activities of customs bodies and the system of customs administration on the basis of generally accepted international norms and standards, as well as creating favorable conditions for accelerated development of entrepreneurship and tourism.

The decree said that the prosecutor ‘s office instituted and investigated criminal cases against customs officials for committing embezzlement, abuse of authority and other crimes.

The head of Uzbekistan identified the most important directions of reforming the customs bodies of Uzbekistan.

The decree noted that it is necessary to define and delineate the tasks and functions of customs authorities.

It was also underlined that it is necessary to fight corruption in the system of customs bodies and improve the image of the state customs service.

The President pointed out the need to ensure the completeness and timeliness of payment of customs payments, as well as an increase the revenues of the budget.

The customs authorities should also shorten the duration of customs procedures at the border crossing points through introduction of modern forms, methods and technical means of customs control.

The head of Uzbekistan ordered to introduce modern information and communication technologies to increase the efficiency of all customs departments.

Uzbek President approved a program of measures to improve the activity of state customs bodies, envisaging institutional changes to improve the activities, optimize the tasks and functions of customs authorities, ensure their openness and transparency, increase the efficiency of customs control and simplify procedures, ensure effective interagency cooperation and improve training of personnel.

From 1 July 2018, customs bodies will stop to issue permits for placing of goods under customs regimes and change the route of movement of foreign road carriers through the territory of Uzbekistan.

From 1 July, customs clearance of identical goods (by physical characteristics, quality, manufacturer, code of the commodity nomenclature of foreign economic activity) within the framework of one foreign trade contract (contract) will be carried out by providing periodic declarations.

Quarantine permit, permission to import and export objects of plants and animals, ozone-depleting substances and their products, certificate of conformity, veterinary, hygienic and ecological certificates for identical goods within the framework of one foreign trade contract (contract) will be issued once, but not more than for a calendar year.

Starting from June, the participants of foreign economic activities will be granted the right in real time via the Internet to fill in and submit to customs authorities cargo customs declarations without resorting to customs brokers.

The practice of preliminary declaration of imported goods before their actual arrival to the customs territory of Uzbekistan is introduced, including with a view to encouraging bona fide participants in foreign economic activity by releasing imported goods for free circulation directly at border crossings.

Customs authorities will exercise customs control in respect of goods and vehicles after they are released for free circulation, in order to verify the accuracy of the declared information and the legality of foreign trade activities of business entities.

In the structure of the State Customs Committee, the Office for Introduction of Advanced and Innovative Methods of Customs Administration, the Office for Monitoring and Risk Assessment and the Office for Monitoring of Foreign Trade Operations and Customs Statistics were established.

The committee was instructed to introduce an automated risk management system by 1 September, which will envisage introduction of customs control of goods.

The committee was entrusted to speed up implementation of pilot projects on introduction of customs administration at Tashkent International Airport named after Islam Karimov and Tashkent Commodity customs posts, which should improve customs administration and ensure completeness and timeliness of payment of customs payments.

It is planned to create modern logistics centers in the regions, including on the basis of public-private partnership, in the territory of which customs, banking, logistics, express laboratory, phytosanitary, veterinary, sanitary-epidemiological, ecological, certification and other services will be provided on the principle of “one-stop-shop”.

Border customs posts at checkpoints across the state border are planned to be equipped with modern inspection complexes and other technical means of customs control.

The document envisages measures to improve work of customs posts at railways and automobile roads. It is also planned to build new border crossing points. Customs posts will be equipped with modern tools and technologies.

Until 1 November, the President instructed to draft a new version of the Customs Code of Uzbekistan. Particular attention should be paid to liberalization of customs legislation, transparency and simplification of customs procedures, accessibility in the perception of norms and exclusion of the possibility of their different interpretation.

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