By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The reforms that are being carried out in Azerbaijan in the field of fiscal policy, in particular, directed against the shadow economy have yielded positive results, and in this sense 2018 year was the most successful for the State Customs Committee (SCC).
This was stated by Safar Mehdiyev, chairman of the State Customs Committee, at a board meeting on the occasion of the professional holiday of customs officers held on January 30.
Mehdiyev declared that, following the last year, the SCC provided the state budget with customs taxes and duties worth 3.4 billion manats ($2 billion), which is one billion manats ($590 million) or 141 percent more than the forecast target.
The chairman noted that the reforms in the customs system will continue in 2019, they will be aimed at improving the competitiveness and efficiency of transit corridors passing through the territory of Azerbaijan.
As Mehdiyev said, it is necessary to attract additional transit cargoes to these corridors, reduce the time of their delivery, as well as optimize the relevant procedures at border crossing points.
He noted that customs officers revealed up to 1.2 tons of narcotic drugs, with heroin making up most of the confiscated drugs in 2018.
“Currently, the State Customs Committee is working on the creation of Trade Facilitation Centers, which will create favorable conditions for the expeditious passage of goods and vehicles at the border. In these centers, in cases of appeals of foreign trade operations participants, immediate customs clearance of goods or their unloading will be carried out, which will greatly facilitate the process of movement and delivery of goods in terms of logistics,” said Mehdiyev.
SCC head noted that thanks to such centers, it is possible to significantly reduce the burden on other customs authorities, which in turn will improve the level of effective use of the personnel potential of the department.
In turn, First Deputy Chairman of the State Customs Committee Ismayil Guseynov during a board meeting held on the occasion of the professional holiday of customs officers said that SCC develops a legislative framework in order to improve import and export operations.
He noted that a new regulatory document is being prepared in order to facilitate foreign trade, streamline customs procedures, and ensure their transparency.
“Structural changes resulting from the reforms have had a positive impact on the activities of business entities, and also contributed to the growth of the state budget payments. Large-scale reforms carried out in Azerbaijan have ensured in general the sustainable development of many sectors of the economy, yielding positive results in the customs sphere. First of all, this is the merit of the state policy, which is aimed at ensuring transparency in all spheres, including customs, as well as measures to eradicate corruption in the country,” said Guseynov.
The first deputy chairman noted that following the results of 2018, the material and technical base of the state customs system has been significantly strengthened, and a reliable management system has been created that is capable of solving important tasks in an expeditious manner.
After the restoration of Azerbaijan's sovereignty, the Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established on January 30, 1992.
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