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Federal customs service

The Federal Customs Service of Russia and the Ministry of Economy of Belgium sign Memorandum of Understanding on the digital exchange of the Kimberley Process certificates data

Published at: 12 November 2021 10:33

On November 11, the Federal Customs Service and the Federal Economic Service of Belgium signed a Memorandum of Understanding on electronic exchange of information on Kimberley Process (KP) certificates and certificates for export of rough natural diamonds.

The document was signed by Vladimir Bulavin, head of the Federal Customs Service of Russia and Marc Michielsen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the Russian Federation, authorized by the Belgian side.

It should be noted that this is the first agreement of the Federal Customs Service on the international exchange of information on permits in electronic form.  This exchange was enabled by the Federal Customs Service introducing modern digital technologies into the processes of customs operations. The Federal Customs Service's proposals are based on the principles of voluntariness, reciprocity, and preserving the basic foundations of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Exchange of information in accordance with the Memorandum will allow assessing the benefits of such interaction in the future, and will be the next step to improve the KP Certification Scheme.

Belgium is Russia's main partner in trade in rough natural diamonds. Russia’s diamond exports to Belgium have been ranking first among other goods in recent years.

In the first 9 months of 2021, the bilateral trade turnover between Russia and Belgium in terms of rough diamonds amounted to $ 1.4 billion in value terms, exceeding the same figure for the entire last year.

According to the signed memorandum, the parties will regularly exchange information on KP certificates allowing the export of rough natural diamonds from the customs territory. This will simplify and speed up customs operations with regard to rough natural diamonds, as well as increase the efficiency of customs control by automating the processing of information received in electronic form.

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Work on organizing the international exchange of information on permits is carried out by the Federal Customs Service of Russia as part of the task of improving the business climate set by Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, in his Address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on February 20, 2019.

Responding to this problem, the FCS of Russia has organized interdepartmental electronic communication with 20 federal executive bodies with competence to issue permits, which allows participants in foreign economic activities not to submit such documents to the customs authorities in carrying out customs operations.

The technology of customs control using of document information in electronic form provides automatic verification of these data against the goods declaration and the automatic performance of customs operations.  In turn, the use of such technology significantly reduces the time required to complete customs operations while improving the quality of customs control.

The achieved level of interdepartmental interaction allows the Federal Customs Service of Russia to enter a new stage in the development of the digital environment in foreign economic activity through the organization of international electronic exchange of information on foreign authorization documents and the use of technology that eliminates the need to submit them to customs authorities.