THE STATE CUSTOMS COMMITTEE OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN


The history of the Committee

The State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established on January 30, 1992

Through the shortest period of its history the State Customs Committee achieved great progress in the acceleration of the commodity turnover within the country, the protection and security of the customs area, the establishment of the border customs points and new customs bodies for the creation of favorable conditions for the participants of foreign relations, the establishment of the legal basis corresponding to the international standards for the improvement of the customs bodies' activity and the adoption of the Customs Code, close participation in the formaiton of the state budget as the most important state task, the arrangement of the customs activity in accordance with the internaitonal standards, expansion of cooperation with the customs structures of the developed countres within the framework of the World Customs Organization and others.

The customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the check points operating along the state border of our country check the goods and transport means passing the border, as well as the people in accordance with the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, other legislative acts on the activity of customs bodies and the provisions of the international contracts through applying different forms and methods of the customs control for the protection of the economic, tax and social interests of our country, the prevention of the illegal drug trafficking, the protection of the public health, imporsing of tariffs and taxes on the goods imported and exported from the country and to carry out other actions related to the customs control, restrictions and prohibition.

The State Customs Committee took into accout the global practice while developing the stamdards legislative acts on the application of customs control, provisions and rules of the passage of cargo and transport means through the customs check points of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the present-day standards applied in the international arena are also reflected in the said documents.

Nearly 20 customs bodies and over 50 customs check points were established in Azerbaijan for the development of export-import potential, the simplification of the customs registraiton and customs control over the transport means and goods imported or exported to and from different regions of our country and for the acceleration of the commodity turnover on the territory of the country.

The check points are being established and their regime are defined in places of the customs' bodies locaiton and in other places stipulated by the State Customs Committee to ensure the activity of the customs bodies and to carry out the customs control.

The status of the legal body attached to the state statistical committee that contributed to the expansion of economic reforms and the preservaiton and proteciton of the innermarket of the country enabled it to undertake effective measures for the prevention of smuggle and other criminal cases in the customs activity. Thus, the customs bodies struggle against crimes and the violation of the customs rules and tax legislation.

To date the customs bodies undertake important measures for the prevention of drug trafficking, exciting concern of the international community and their transportation through the territory of our country and bring to responsibility the people transporting.

Our country undertakes important steps for the creation of conditions for foreign businessmen -the potential contributors to the development of our economics and the increase of the investment in our country. The Customs Committee of the Republic conducts permanent meetings with the foreign businessmen operating in the country for the development of cooperation. The customs committee also arranges joint measures for the problems facing businessmen in the customs sphere.

The duties of the Committee

The State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan fulfills the following functions ascribed to it in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

-works out the legal, economic and organizational mechanism for the conduction of the customs policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan and ensures their application;

-works out the development program of the customs activity of the Republic of Azerbaijan and implements it

-arranges the improvement and conduction of the customs control and undertakes measures for its improvement and simplification without damaging its effectiveness;

-participates in the development of economic programs on the licensing of goods passing the customs border of the Republic of Azerbaijan, regulation of prices and other non-tariff measures and ensures their implementation;

-collects the taxes, tariffs and other customs payment on goods passing the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-arranges control over the correct definition of the customs value of goods;

-provides for the timely and correct transfer of the taxes and customs tariffs;

-issues the licenses or certificates, annuls them or takes them bank and ensures the registration as stipulated by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-ensures the effective application of due customs regime in checking the goods and transport means passing the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-ensures the development and application of rules for the passage of cargo and transport means through the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-arranges the registration of cargo and transport means and undertake measures for its improvement and simplification;

-ensures the control over the compliance with the control customs regime through other legal bodies independently or when needed, arranges the defense system of the customs establishments and undertake other measures for the protection of the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-participates in the development and implementation of state policy for the effective utilization and protection of biological reserves in the Caspian Azeri sector, ensures the control over the compliance to the requirements of existing legislation in the transportation of biological reserves through the customs points of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-assists the legal bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the combat with international terrorism and in the prevention of the illegal interference with the operation of international transport means at the railway stations and air and sea ports;

-carries out the control over the compliance to the legislation in the operative examination measures and the cases of the administrative law offences damaging the normal activity of the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the customs rules, the cases of smuggle by the senior officials of the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

- arranges the conduction of the statistics of the foreign trade customs and special customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-introduces the information about the customs statistics and other customs affairs to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan and other central executive bodies (on the issues of their activity) in a fixed order;

-informs the interested persons on the customs affairs and creates the consultation system for them in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-undertakes measures for the protection of rights and interests of individuals and legal enterprises while carrying out the customs activity;

-creates conditions for the realization of the rights of individuals and legal enterprises on the appeals on activeness and indifference or the resolutions of the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan and their senior officials;

-ensures the timely and complete consideration of the appeals; undertakes measures for the prevention of the causes for the violation of the legal interests and rights of individuals and legal enterprises;

-ensures the issue of the important legislative acts on the customs activity;

-carries out explanatory works on the development and state of the customs activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan and uses the mass information sources and other propaganda measures for the purpose;

-ensures its own operations and resolutions on the application of legislative acts on the customs activity related to definite goods or economic transactions;

-summarizes and analyzes the practice of the application of the legislation on the customs activity of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-participates in the activity of international organizations engages in the customs issues and ensures the fulfillment of international duties undertaken by Azerbaijan in the customs sphere;

-maintains mutual cooperation with the foreign customs bodies and other authorized powers;

-arranges the scientific researches in the sphere of customs;

-studies and analyses the customs policies of foreign countries and studies the state of customs activity in a definite country;

-provides for training and retraining of the customs officials and the specialists for work in the customs laboratories and other departments, enterprises and organizations;

-establishes and liquidates customs, departments, customs posts, customs laboratories, scientific and educational institutions and accounting centers;

-ensures the creation, improvement and operation of the automated information system in the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-finances measures for the development of customs activity in the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-controls the off-budget development Fund of the customs system of the Republic of Azerbaijan in a fixed order;

-developed the material and social basis of the customs bodies, laboratories and other institutions, departments and organizations;

-to assist in the implementation of measures for the social and legal protection of the senior officials of the customs bodies, the officials of customs laboratories, departments, institutions, organizations;

-fulfills other duties stipulated by the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

The rights of the committee

The State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan has the following rights in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan:

-to work out proposals on the improvement of the customs policy of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-to work out draft legislative acts on the customs sphere and other legal acts;

-to participate in the development of proposals on the improvement of mechanisms for regulation of relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the world community in the sphere of economics, including the attraction of foreign capitals and encouragement of export;

-to ensure the participation of the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the protection of the state security, social stability, the morality of the population, the life and health of people, animals and plants and the environment and in the conduction of measures for the protection of the interests of entrepreneurs and inner market of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-to participate in the control over the export of goods and materials of great importance for the Republic of Azerbaijan and the transportation of cultural wealth;

-to put forward the proposals on the improvement of the application and the degree of payments, taxes, tariffs on goods transported through the border of the Republic of Azerbaijan;

-to arrange the work on the registration of due goods in the foreign economic activity, its alteration and additions to it;

-to define the characteristics of the legal regulation of the customs regime;

-to restrict or prohibit the allocation of definite types of goods in the customs zones and free reservoirs;

-to stipulate for the facilitated, lax rules for the passage of goods not designed for sale by individuals;

-to define the characteristics of the legal regulation of the activity of specialists on the customs brokers and customs registration;

-to demand necessary information and documents from organizations and institutions regardless of their legal and organizational form and officials and individuals for the fulfillment of the functions and duties ascribed to it;

-to arrange temporary work and creative ensembles, expert councils for coordination of the issues of customs activity; to attract scientists, scientific centers and experts, including the experts and scientists from the foreign countries on the contract basis to the settlement of problems of the customs activity and policy;

-to create the information and communication services system;

-to control the activity of the departments, institutions and organizations subdued to it, to approve their regulations and statues, to appoint their leadership, to carry out the audit of their financial and economic activity;

- to realize other powers stipulated by the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The reforms in the customs system

The State Customs Committee conducted a number of measures for the expansion of customs infrastructure, bringing the customs activity in conformity to international standards, the development and improvement of the development of customs bodies' activity and the arrangement of the national customs service in conformity to the actual requirements.

The State Customs Committee undertakes measures for the facilitation of trade in our country, acceleration of commodity turnover, the development of oil industry considered the most important economics sphere, the perfection of the said sphere, for making alterations to the legislation on the improvement of the effectiveness of customs registration and the customs control over the exported and imported goods and other issues.

Thus, the Head Customs Committee established the Sahil customs point in 1997 for the facilitation and efficiency of the customs registration of numerous exported cargoes for the discovery of new oil fields by oil companies operating in the country on the basis of the contracts concluded beginning from 1995, the transportation of oil produced for the new routes, the development of oil industry in the country and the conduction of other related operation.

As a result of the increase in the transportation of crude oil and oil products as well as the transit cargoes,, and the establishment of Baku-Novorossiysk and Baku-Supsa pipelines communicating Azerbaijan with the global oil communication systems and increase in the production and transportation of hydrocarbons the volume of conducted structural divisions on the customs and customs registration on oil and oil products expanded and the necessity for new structural changes appeared.

Considering all the aforementioned facts, oil the Energy custom house was established within the State Customs Committee in 2001 for raising the effectiveness of the customs registration of oil and oil products as well as energy sources and creation of favorable conditions for the transportation of such goods.

Moreover, due to the commencement of full scale works in the deep-water parts of Azeri, Chyrag and Guneshli fields operating in the Caspian Azeri sector, the customs point Yeni Sahil was established near the operative reservoir of BP Exploration Caspian SI Ltd on the territory of Sahil district for the storage of goods designed for export and their utilization for a definite purpose, their timely registration and for the conduction of the effective customs control over them.

Besides, much was done for the establishment of customs warehouses as one of the most important factors influencing the increase of the international transportation and the development of foreign economic relations and for their operation on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The State Customs Committee established the customs warehouses, the standard legislative acts regulating them were worked out and came into effect and the due permission was issued for the company Merfi operating in our country for the establishment of customs warehouses.

Much work has been undertaken for the implementation of a number of necessary measures for the establishment of the check points corresponding to present-say standards along the state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the modernization of existing infrastructure related to the improvement of the application of the customs control carried out at these points.

At the same time the restoration and development of the historical Silk Road, the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia line turned our country into the important transit countries, thus causing the rise in the volume of transported oil and oil products.

The restoration of the Silk Road caused the necessity to bring the customs legislation of the Silk Road states in conformty to the adopted international standards for the implementation of the TRASECA program important for the Republic of Azerbaijan which has the important geoplotical situation and the Silk Road states and for the provision of simplified transportation of cargoes and transition of transport means via the said countries

Moreover, the customs bodies were instructed to use the railway wall-bill as the transit declaration and the related transport organizations were informed about it for the improvement of conditions for the expansion of the trade relations with the neighbor countries, the conduction of the simplified customs registration and customs control of cargoes, the acceleration of border procedures during the transit cargo transportation considering the increase in the volume of the transit cargo transportation by the rail road on the territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The information on the customs affairs for the participants of the foreign economic activity is available on the weekly Gomruk Kheberleri newspaper, the monthly Gomrukchu magazine and at the web-site of the State Customs Committee and the automated information posts of the customs bodies.

At the same time, the establishment of the brokers institute in the country is currently under way for the prtovision of the transparence and simplicity of the customs procedured in the Republic of Azerbaijan. Thus, over 50 organizations, companies and forms appealed to the state customs committee for their transformation into the customs brokers and training courses related to the specialized activity in the sphere of customs registration were conducted in the Educational Center of the State Customs Committee.

To date the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan as the member of the World Customs Organization maintains close cooperation with the leading countries of the world, tries to build its activity purposefully through the utilization of the achievements in the customs sphere in the international practice, closely participates in the international arrangements related to the customs activity and is the active participants of discussion connected with the customs affairs.

The international relations of the committee

The influence of the Republic of Azerbaijan is gradually increasing due to the internal and foreign policy that was established by the national leader of the Azerbaijani people Heydar Aliyev and followed by President Ilham Aliyev. The customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, adhering to the said course, undertook important measures for the strengthening of international cooperation in the customs affairs.

Azerbaijan attaches a great importance to the development of international customs cooperation of the state customs committee and the expansion of cooperation with a number of influential organizations and the customs bodies of the WCO member-states for the deepening of the international integration process. The customs services of Azerbaijan that secure our economic, financial, trade and cultural interests works out contracts, protocols and memorandums in accordance with the international standards and put forward the proposals on their signing, undertakes due measures on the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the rules of conclusion, fulfillment and elimination of international contracts of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Memorandums and contracts on the cooperation between the customs bodies and their mutual assistance were signed with Turkey, Iran, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, France, Estonia, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Greece, Belgium, Pakistan, Lithuania, Romania, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan. At the same time the country is working out the draft contract on the cooperation and mutual assistance in the customs affairs between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the government of USA", draft contract on the cooperation and mutual assistance in the customs affairs between the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the government of Germany, the draft contract on the mutual assistance in the customs affairs between the governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan and People's Republic of China.

It should be noted that CIS Council of the leaders of the Customs Services, GUAM and International Organization for Cooperation signed a number of multilateral contracts and memorandums in the customs affairs.

One of the most important steps undertaken in the sphere of international customs cooperation was the participation of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Protocol of alterations to the Convention on the establishment of the council of customs cooperation, the Customs Convention on the international cargo transportation with the application of the booklet of the international cargo transportation (March 12, 1996), the international convention on the agreement upon the provisions of the frontier cargo control (February 11, 2000), the International Convention on the Harmonized system for the goods description and codification (May 2, 2000), the international Convention on the mutual administrative assistance on the prevention and investigation of customs law offences (February 19, 2002), the international convention on the simplification and harmonization of the customs procedures (the altered Kyoto Convention) and the international convention on the simplification and harmonization of the customs procedures (December 9, 2003)

The State Customs Committee undertakes active measures for the expansion of cooperation with the European Customs, the Asian Development bank and other international influential organizations within the framework of the due programs of the United Nations Organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation, World Customs Organization, TACIS and TRASECA.

Beginning from 1999 the State Customs Committee and the UN Development Program carried out joint measures on the project of the establishment of information system and the strengthening of the potential of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The project has the following achievements:

The commissioning of the single corporate online systems to the customs bodies, establishment and application of automated system of registration and control over the law offences defined by the customs bodies of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the application of the automated system of customs registration and control in the customs bodies, the establishment of the information posts to provide the transparent customs registration and control in the customs bodies, and the creation of conditions for monitoring of registration and examination of luggage on the border through the application of the video monitoring systems in a number of customs bodies and frontier posts.

The State Customs Committee expands cooperation with the customs services of the CIS states in the sphere of specialists' training for the customs bodies, in the automated information system, customs statistics and other spheres.

The State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan became the member of the Financial Committee of most influential international customs structure in the world -the World Customs Organization in 2000-2001.

The accession of the Republic of Azerbaijan into the Political Commission of the World Customs Organization and the conduction of the 44th session of this commission in Baku on December 5-9, 2000 prove the increase of the influence of the customs services of Azerbaijan in the international arena and the efficiency of the cooperation with the customs organizations of the world.

The Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Mishel Dane and the chair of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan Kemaleddin Heydarov signed a memorandum of understanding in the establishment of the regional educational center of the World Customs Organization in Baku on January 30, 2002. The opening ceremony of the center took place in Baku on September 20, 2003. A number of international and regional training courses have already been held there and it is planned to conduct regional trainings after 2005.

The State Customs Committee is the full member of the Regional Information Coordinative Center of the World Customs Organization (Rilo-Moscow).

The foundation e-learning program for the regional countries of the World Customs Organization was laid within the Regional Educational Center of Baku under the support of the World Customs Organization.

The opening ceremony of the Dede Gorgut monuments took place before the Headquarters of the World Customs Organization in Brussels on May 18, 2004 and on the same day the World Customs Organization and the State Customs Committee signed the protocol on intentions in the WCO headquarters

The document was signed by the secretary general of the World Customs Organization Michel Dane and the chair of the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan Kemaleddin Heydariv. The document which lays the foundation for the expansion of the relations existing between the World Customs Organization and the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan and at the same time creates conditions for the establishment of closer cooperation between Azerbaijan and WCO member-states. The protocol of intentions focuses on the joint settlement of the special regional problems related to the illegal drug trafficking by the Great Silk Road, the frontier security, and the globalization facing the due officials of the customs bodies.

The state customs committee arranges courses and seminars within the framework of cooperation with influential international organizations for the training of specialists and improvement of their skills and knowledge and participates in the educational programs arranged by the said international companies. It is possible to point out different educational courses, conducted within the framework of the cooperation with the World Customs Organization, EU TACIS Program, UN SCAD and other organizations.

The cooperation between the state customs committee of the republic of azerbaijan and the International Agency for Nuclear Energy expanded within the last few years. The project, worked out for equipment of the frontier check-points of the state customs committee with the necessary technical control devices was introduced into the Agency and the operations are to be continued in 2005-2006 as well.

The gradual strengthening and expansion of the cooperation between the customs services of Azerbaijan and a number of influential international structures and the customs departments of other countries promoted the conduction of important measures in the customs activity of the country.

The address of the Committee

AZ 1073 Baku, 2 Inshaatchylar Ave
Tel: 438 80 80, 438 51 09
Fax: (99412) 498 18 36
E-mail: mailto:external@az-customs.net
Web site: http://www.az-customs.net
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