Presentation outline: EU legal base for bilateral Polish-Belarussian customs transborder cooperation. Polish-Belarussian agreements on administrative transborder customs cooperation. Political base for bilater customs cooperation. Current problems in bilateral transborber customs cooperation – scrutiny and decissions. Challenges for futher Polish-Belarussian customs cooperation in e-business environment.
EU Legal Base for Polish-Belarussian Customs Cooperation
- Current, since May 1, 2004, legal base for cooperation in customs matters between Poland and the third countries presents by EU customs policy and EU customs legislation. Additionally is possible to use bilateral agreements between Member State and the third country.
- Community Customs Code (Reg.2913/92 - Reg.450/08 - MCCC)
- Community Customs Code Implementing Provisions (Reg. 2454/93)
- Security of International Supply Chain (AEO Reg.648/05)
- Decission 70/08 on e-Customs (NCTS, ICS,ECS,TARIC,EBTI, etc.)
- Another 326 Acts Related to EU Customs Legislation (e.g. SAD, CCT, C&CTransit, TIR, ATA, etc.)
Bilateral Agreements between Polish and Belarussian Customs Services on Administrative Assistance
- Agreement on Temporary Principles of Cooperation During Common Control of Persons, Goods and Means of Transportation Crossing the Polish-Belorussian State Border in Road and Rail Movements of September 18,1992
- Bilateral Agreement between President of the Central Board of Customs and the Director General of the Belorussian State Customs
- Committee on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of October 27, 1995
- Agreement between President of the Central Board of Customs and the Director General of the Belorussian State Customs Committee on
- Contacts in Mutual Assistance of December 21, 1996
- Agreement between Director of the Regional Customs Office in Białystok and Director of the Regional Customs Office in Grodno on Contacts in Mutual Assistance of March 27, 2001.
Political Base for Polish – Belorussian Customs Cooperation
Since May 1, 2004, Polish Customs Service (PCS) is part of EU Customs Union services. It determines administrative and operational transborber cooperation between Polish and Belorussian Customs Services.
The political and organizational base for bilateral cooperation of customs services are meetings of the Directors Generals of Poland and Belorussia. In the last decade the contacts between both partners were very effective, particularly, on the eve of Poland joining EU in 2004 and in the next year.
The new impuls since March 2008 , acceleration of contacts and new forms of cooperation between Polish and Belorussian Customs
After Kiyev (2005) and Muonio (2006) Conferences, Recommendations of the Meeting of the Working Groups on Trade Facilitation and Customs Procedures and on Security and Safety and the Fight Against Fraud. Gdansk, June 4-5, 2008. (with experts from Belarussian Customs Service)
Presentation, as good example, of the results of Polish – Belorussian cooperation during High Level Forum on Customs Cooperation at the EU Eastern Border ,Vienna, 9-10 October 2008 and during UE - Asia (ASEAM) Forum in Thailand, January 13-14,2009
Problems in Polish – Belorussian Customs Cooperation
March 26 , 2008 – Meeting of Polish and Belorussian Customs DGs. Decission on creation common working groups dedicated to preparating drafts for solution of some problems:
- on cross border questions, particularly for cutting the queues for crossing the border customs control points (Benchmarking);
- on the enforcement of criminal turnover in dual purpose goods;
- on cooperation in enforcement in drugs, drugs precursors and psychotropic goods trade and smuggling;
The most sensitive problem in bilateral cooperation have been and still ispre-departure (pre-arrival) exchange of customs information on exportation goods from Poland to Belorussian Customs Territory - the scope of data, customs value, certicates of origin, quantity in units, weight, country of exportation, country of importation, country of origin, duty free goods.
February 24, 2009 – Meeting of Polish and Belorussian Customs Deputies DGs dedicated to the analysis of the results of working groups, with the special attention for enhancement of enforcement:
- decission on broadening on tobacco products and other excise goods the subject of Enforcement Group activity on drugs, precursors, etc.
- presentation of draft of principles for Joint Polish – Belorussian Customs Operation against drugs smuggling (JCO)
- Polish Customs Service (PCS) presented an offer for training of Belorussian customs officers in strategic goods turnover
- PCS presented EU financing possibilities for Polish – Belorussiam Customs Cooperation:
1. Eastern Partnership Policy includs 5 project, between them „Customs enforcement” (e.g. for Kynological Center) and „Border and personal movement”
2. East-West Transborder Cooperation Poland–Belarussia-Ukraine: aim- enhancement of transborder cooperation. The time for first applications – June 2009. Białystok Regional Customs Office is interested in cooperation with Belarussian partner.
3. Baltic See Region Program provides multilateral transborder cooperation in competition enhancement of the region, includes Belarussia in 2009-2010.
March 20, 2009 – Meeting of PCS and Belarussian Customs Services DGs:
- Exchange of information on current issues in both Customs Services, particularly dedicated to ICT problems
- Evaluation of Reports presented by workings groups with the special attention to enhancement of organization problems of co-ordination of time working for border services
- PCS presented information on new pilot project in e-Customs in exportation (ECS), in importation (ICS) and EORI (European Operators Register Information System) as well as in AEO progress
- Information on training in all of the fields offer from PCS for Belarussian Customs and Belorussian business community
- Information on SPEED - Single Portal for Entry and Exit Data - EU – Russia cross border exchange pre-departure customs information (including TIR Carnet data) pilot. It should be open for the third countries later (including Belarussia).
Challenges for bilateral customs cooperation between PCS and BCS
- Increased enforcement capacity (special trainings,mobile groups, new ICT and control equipment,risk analysis,etc.)
- Enhancement cooperation at national and at international level with business communities and public authorities
- Joint operations at national level (with Police, Border Guard, etc.)
- Participation in JCO at international level (with EU partners as well well with Belorussian Customs Service, e.g. JCO ”Gabriela”)
- Cooperation through Customs Attachés and RILO’s
- Direct cooperation between Polish and Belorussian regional and cross border customs offices as well as enforcement groups
Challenges for bilateral PCS-BCS cooperation for facilitation and simplification of customs procedures
- E-Customs and new softwares – risk analisys, ECS, ICS, EORI, AEO, etc.
- Better coordination of common work:
- Keeping the balance between facilitation and control
- Minimizing risk of trade disruption
- Protecting of competitiveness and fair trade
- PCS activity in EU Eastern Neighbour’s Policy and in TACIS as well as in Poland-Belarussia and Ukraine Program in the framework of the - European Neighbourhood and Partnership Means 2007-2013
I would like to put forward a suggestion to include in these proceses busieness and academic communities – universities with the ICT, economic and organizational as well as menagerial specializations.
Prof. Dr. Wieslaw Czyzowicz (Warsaw School of Economics)