By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan that has recently noted its aim to start import phase out by boosting its non-oil sector, now needs to develop export more than ever, so to expand its industrial potential.
On this direction, the first setback is the custom control, which can restrain the process because of the bureaucracy. However, time is one of the decisive factors in international trade operations.
The large economic reforms are expected in Azerbaijan. In this connection, the country wants to bring foreign investments by opening new enterprises and facilities, which on its turn increase import of high tech products and modern equipment.
For this reason, Azerbaijan that has already facilitated opportunities to open business by introducing new privileges for both foreign and local entrepreneurs, is making moves to facilitate custom procedures as well.
Today, the country, which plans to become exporter of food and high-tech products in the future, simplifies custom procedures, which is expected to be profitable for entrepreneurs and the state.
Earlier, the State Custom Committee introduced e-service primary declaration that facilitates custom procedures by allowing entrepreneurs importing goods into Azerbaijan to submit a brief declaration on imported goods and vehicles.
This option opens opportunity to speed up the registration process, to eliminate various bureaucratic obstacles, and to save time.
Fast and transparent custom procedures will help to increase business development in the country.
Another step in this direction is expected after several custom services will be transferred to the ASAN service centers that have already gained a reputation of comfortable and transparent agency fighting bureaucracy and corruption.
Today Azerbaijan is also interested to use its transportation potential, by turning into the transport hub between East and West. Many countries including Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Kazakhstan and China are interested in the opportunities to reach markets of interest by means of Azerbaijan, which makes the transportation more convenient, fast and cost-efficient.
Along with applying attractive transportation fees, the transport-hub-to-be is also simplifying its transit procedures.
Starting from February all Azerbaijani railway customs checkpoints are equipped with special facility to check the freight carriages without stopping and unloading the carriages. The system will be introduced on the railway in the direction of Georgia and Russia.
The Customs Committee has also introduced a 70 percent-discount on formalizing customs declarations for customs clearance of goods and vehicles.
The discount decreased the cost of the customs declaration formalization service up to 50 manats ($30) without VAT, starting from January 27.
Favorable conditions on the custom points are expected to enable Azerbaijan to continue renovating its economy.