By relieving queues at the border, Belarus aims to encourage its position as a transit route for cargo and individual travellers

Border regime meeting new rules

Various measures have already been implemented, such as enterprises’ pre-declaration of goods to customs. Now, citizens may provide advance information of their journey online, declaring goods to be transported in their luggage. Varshavsky most checkpoint (Warsaw bridge) is trialling the move, through until September 1st this year.

Brest customs press service tells us, “The basic advantage of preliminary electronic declaration for citizens is that it reduces time spent on customs formalities at the state border (concerning movement of goods for personal use).” A form is available for completion online, accessible even via smartphone (although it works best with such browsers as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox).

From the website of the customs committee, users should choose the section entitled `Electronic preliminary declaration of goods for personal use`. Registration in the system must be conducted at least two hours prior to arrival at the border. Users can complete the form either in Russian or in English, and each receives a unique identification number of preliminary notice (UINP). On arrival at the checkpoint, citizens only need to show their goods or declared vehicle, and their UINP. If the goods being transported match those declared, it should take no more than 15 minutes to pass through. Of course, incorrectly filled declarations are void, with preliminary electronic declaration required to match that of the passenger customs declaration.

From March 10th, the State Customs Committee changed its approach to imported goods for private use, allowing citizens to import equipment for their kitchen, bathroom and lavatory once every three years, without duties. The same rule applies to the purchase of telephones, prams (depending on the age of a child), air-conditioners, motors for boats and various other goods: 35 in number. The list is available to view online, alongside information on items allowed importation once every two years: including up to four motorcycles without a sidecar. Moreover, the ‘two year rule’ applies to summer and winter tyres (enough for each vehicle owned). Citizens only need to show documents to prove possession of the vehicle in their homeland.

By Maria Dronova
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