13 Sep 2022 16:47

Russia ratifies agreement on broader customs cooperation with Belarus

MOSCOW. Sept 13 (Interfax) - The Russian State Duma on Tuesday ratified an agreement with Belarus regarding their customs cooperation and harmonization of laws.

The document simplifies customs information-sharing, with a reservation protecting such data, and creates an inter-state analytics center.

The governmental document was submitted to the parliament in early July. It clarifies the rules for information-sharing in electronic form, in particular the sharing of information on customs declaration in full and in real time, including that on customs transit, and the submittal of statistical forms on bilateral trade in full at least once a month. Information will be shared free of charge.

The agreement prohibits the transfer of any received customs and statistical information to third parties, unless consented to in writing by the authorized body of the side which passed such information. "In the event of a detection of an instance of dissemination of such information for other than the purposes stipulated by this agreement, the authorized body of the side which has detected the instance may suspend the transfer of such information unilaterally by notifying the authorized body of the other side accordingly," the ratified document said.

In the event of termination of the agreement, its confidentiality and data protection clauses will remain in force.

In addition, an inter-state center will be created in Minsk to coordinate risk management and to analyze and monitor customs operations.

The document also clarifies the rules regarding joint customs control, interaction between the two mobile customs control teams, and the institute of the authorized economic operator.

The agreement will apply from March 15, but will formally come into force ten days after the receipt via diplomatic channels of the last written notice about necessary internal state procedures having been completed on both sides. Belarus ratified the document in May.