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The WCO brings together 180 countries, which account for 98 percent of world trade. Russia has been participating in the WCO since 1992 as a legal successor of the USSR. This international organization allows the countries to simplify and expedite the movement of world trade.
Currently, the main issues for cooperation between the Russian FCS and the WCO include the institutional development, the promotion of world trade and supply chain security protection.
The Russian FCS is also working to join the WCO recommendations in areas such as trade facilitation, customs procedures, classification of goods and law enforcement. Currently, the Russian Federation has joined 35 WCO recommendations in the field of law enforcement and trade facilitation.
The official website of the WCO provides the recommendations translated by the Russian FCS. Thus, these recommendations are available to customs administrations of the Russian-speaking countries.
Russia acceded to five international conventions developed under the auspices of the WCO, including Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance for the Prevention, Investigation and Repression of Customs Offences, Convention on the ATA Carnet for the Temporary Admission of Goods, Convention on the Temporary Admission of Goods, Convention on the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System, International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures (Kyoto Convention) as amended in 1999 (General Annex).
At present, the Russian FCS is developing the following initiatives in the framework of cooperation with the WCO:
- creation of a new Eurasian region in the current structure of the WCO;
- granting the Eurasian Economic Union the status of an associate member of the WCO (by analogy with the European Union).
July 16, 2016, in Brussels at the 127/128 session of the Council of the World Customs Organization, R.V. Davydov, Deputy Head of the Russian FCS, was elected the Chairman of the WCO Council for the coming year.
On the same day R.V. Davydov and Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the WCO, signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Customs Service (Russian Federation) and the World Customs Organization on the activities of the Regional Centre of the World Customs Organization.
Traditionally, Russian customs possess recognized competence in the global customs community. Russian language is recognized as a working language of the WCO for the purposes of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System. In Moscow, there is a Regional Information Coordinative Center of the World Customs Organization (RILO – Moscow). Since 2002, the Russian Customs Academy has been a WCO Regional Training Centre. Since 2013, the Russian Federal Customs Service Dog Training Center has acquired the status of a WCO Regional Dog Training Center. In 2015, a branch of the Russian Customs Academy in St. Petersburg became a Center of Excellence and Expertise training inspection and scanning equipment experts. During the current session of the WCO Council, the Central Forensic Customs Administration of the Russian FCS acquired the status of the WCO Regional Customs Laboratory.
By decision of the WCO Council, regular meeting of the WCO Political Commission will be held in Russia in early December 2016. It will be chaired by R.V. Davydov, Chairman of the World Customs Organization Council, Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Customs Service.
BRICS is a group of five emerging economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Customs cooperation between the BRICS countries began to develop in 2012.
April 01, 2015, the Russian Federation took over the chairmanship.
In 2015, the Russian FCS held the meetings of the heads and experts of the BRICS customs services.
During the event, the parties finalized the draft Regulations on the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee and agreed to conduct the internal coordination procedures for the purpose of the subsequent execution of the Regulations.
Since February 15, 2016, the BRICS has been presided over by India.
Following the meeting of the heads of the BRICS customs services, the execution of the Regulations on the BRICS Customs Cooperation Committee was negotiated during the 8th BRICS Summit (October 15 – 17, 2016, Goa, India)
The Russian FCS cooperated within its competence with the European Commission. Within the framework of the Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between Russia and the EU dated 1994, interaction is established on the issues of simplification of customs procedures and risk management (Green Corridor project), anti-fraud, interconnection of EaEC and EU transit systems; convergence of customs legislation; tariff classification of goods and customs statistics data exchange (on a quarterly basis).
To address these issues, the following working groups have been established:
subcommittee on customs and cross-border cooperation;
working group on customs border issues;
expert subgroup on risk analysis and management and operation of authorized economic operators;
expert subgroup on the approximation of legislation;
expert advice on transit issues.
In the context of less active cooperation with the EU, an expert dialogue with the Directorate General for Taxation and Customs Union of the European Commission is underway.
An expert subgroup on cooperation in the field of risk analysis and management and operation of authorized economic operators holds regular meetings. The subgroup discusses modal regulatory document on the pilot project of information exchange between the Federal Customs Service of Russia and the customs services of the EU Member States in respect of the goods imported from the EU to the Russian Federation (“Green Corridor” project). Implementation of this project will enable to successfully build a future bilateral cooperation.
26-27 September 2016, the 5th meeting of the expert subgroup is expected to be held in Helsinki.
Intergovernmental Forum Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) was established in November 1989. Currently, it brings together 21 countries (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA, South Korea, Japan, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, China, Mexico, Taiwan, Chile, Russia, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines) and the Asia-Pacific area.
The Russian FCS participates in the framework of its competence in the meetings of the APEC Sub-Committee on Customs Procedures, the APEC Expert Group on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade and other activities.
The key issue for the Russian FCS in cooperation with the APEC is the development of information technologies and the creation of a single customs information space in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR).
Within the framework of the Russian Federation Chairmanship of the Forum in 2012, the Russian FCS announced an initiative to create a single information space. To implement the initiative, great importance is attached to the establishment of electronic data exchange, primarily, preliminary information with foreign customs administrations.
In view of the increased trade turnover between Russia and the Asia-Pacific region, particular importance is attached to the establishment of effective and continuous cooperation between the customs services in terms of exchange of reliable pricing information about the goods transported across the borders of the APEC Member States, primarily, heavily taxed ones. This interaction in the framework of a single information space will enable to prevent false declaration and understating of the invoice value and, as a consequence, will increase the revenues to the federal budget.
At present, the Russian FCS develops within the framework of APEC the issues of establishment of the APEC Expert Group on electronic exchange of preliminary information between customs services, coordination of draft single protocol on the exchange of preliminary information about goods and vehicles in transit between the APEC Members, and assigning APEC status to the Russian Customs Academy.
The BSEC is an international regional economic organization (established June 25, 1992). BSEC Member States include Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
18 working groups on major areas of cooperation have been established in the BSEC, including trade and economic development, emergency, combating organized crime, statistics, transport, communications, energy, science and technology, environment, agriculture, tourism, education, banking and finance and other issues.
In 2006, on the initiative of the Russian FCS, BSEC Working Group on Customs Matters was established.
Priority areas of cooperation:
- In order facilitate the movement of goods and people across national borders, ongoing harmonization of customs and border procedures in accordance with the national legislation;
- Promoting cooperation between the customs authorities of the BSEC Member States in accordance with the requirements of the World Customs Organization, using innovative technologies in this field;
- Exchange of preliminary information about goods and vehicles crossing the borders of the BSEC Member States.
The Department of European Cooperation of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs coordinates the Russian Federation participation in the BSEC.
In the period from January to July 2016, the BSEC was chaired by the Russian Federation.
During Russia’s chairmanship, the Russian Federal Customs Service organized a meeting of the BSEC Working Group on Customs Matters.
The event was attended by the representatives of the customs services of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Turkey, and the representative of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A representative of the WCO Tariffs and Trade Affairs Directorate was a special guest of the Working Group.
During the event, the issues of multilateral cooperation between the customs services at the platform of the BSEC were discussed, and best practices on customs administration with the use of modern information technologies were shared.
In the period from July 01 to December 31, 2016, Serbia will chair the BSEC.