Cargo transit through the country requires less paperwork

Belarus is situated right in the heart of Europe, which makes this country an integral part of the European transit system. The Belarusian authorities are aware of all obligations such location of the country assumes
At the same time, foreigners do not miss an opportunity of criticizing the work of Belarusian customs. They are accused of superfluous ungrounded checks of transit cargoes and unnecessary detentions that result in exceeding delivery limits. Are these claims well-grounded?

“Belarus is able to guarantee transit cargo safety today. Moreover, Belarusian customs have never experienced any problems with this. If there were cases of cargo arrests or detentions at the Belarusian boarder, they all were connected with direct violations of Belarusian law. All countries of the world protect their boarders and use these measures,, Belarus is not an exception”, the deputy chairman of Belarus’ State Customs Committee, Vladimir Goshin, said answering to the above question.

According to the official statistics, in 2005 cargo transit through Belarus rose 7–26% [the figure depend on the cargo type] on the year. This means, Belarusian customs officers are not so formidable as they are painted. they are not able to scary transit flows, quite the reverse.

The Belarusian authorities do not relax. They are improving national customs legislation to enhance Belarus’ transit potential.

In late March 2006, Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko signed framework ordinance on the implementation of the principle of free transit, which introduces a unified procedure of transit of cargoes through Belarus, including Russian cargoes, and clear reasons and procedure of customs clearance and control.

The preamble says the document aims to eliminate the discrimination against transit goods and vehicles.

The ordinance enumerates the documents necessary for customs control. The list includes the name and amount of goods, number of cargo packages and gross weight of commodities. Other documents are not obligatory and may be produced for additional information.

Experts with the State Customs Committee hope the ordinance will resolve transit problems and make customs clearing a quick and transparent procedure.

Besides, Belarus’ State Customs Committee plans to issue a regulation aim at unification of Belarusian customs clearing procedure with the procedure used in the countries of the European Union (EU). The committee plans to introduce a simple form of cargo transportation documents and a custom bond similar that will meet the EU standards.

Belarus feels the responsibility of being a part of the European transit system and tries to meet necessary requirements.

by Vitaly Yefimenko
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