State Customs Committee: No Monopoly, Brokers Work

In a statement, the State Customs Committee argued that in the customs system all is controlled on the basis of laws. A contrary view is called absurd. The most topical issue of the last days is the statement of analysts to eliminate the monopoly prevailing in the system, as well as the elimination of this structure, as a continuation of the reforms.

Customs Clearance

According to the press service of the State Customs Committee, the system of determining the customs price of imported goods, based on internationally accepted general principles (VII article of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, adopted in 1994, as well as arrangements and amendments on the application of Article VII GATT).

SCC also serves as the defender of the interests of local producers "in the face of the current financial and economic crisis." With regard to the approach to imports, there was a stated desire to reduce the process of export of currency from the country. Experts also believe that behind this emotion there is an attempt of artificial intervention in the market.

"In the presence of documents accompanying the goods (the official invoice, necessary certificates, contracts, etc.) suspicions on the part of the Customs Committee are considered to be illegal and abuse of authority. In this situation, how a foreign investor should want to come and work in Azerbaijan? If the entrepreneur is importing equipment or raw materials, the Customs Committee could say that the invoice is false and the price reflected is not 100 thousand but 200 thousand dollars. So the tax will be not 30,000, but 60,000." The economist Rovshan Agayev believes that the current situation is described in the customs.

In a statement, the committee said: "Customs valuation of imported participants of foreign economic activity of the goods must be carried out correctly, and it is necessary to ensure the competitiveness of similar products in the consumer market." It is a response to independent economists’ claim that the customs authorities create conditions for high prices on the consumer market and reduce the purchasing power of the population. ..

Monopoly Eliminated

So says the State Customs Committee, justifying it by some figures. "In the country the import of all items of goods is carried out by thousands of business entities. For example, butter is imported by 15-20 companies, sour cream – by 20-30, rice – by 10-18, building fixtures – by 20, boards – by 20 and household objects – by 15."

The economist Nazim Mammadov said that behind the voiced figures there are fake companies created by customs brokers. The press repeatedly exposes these facts. For those who want to operate beyond their control, numerous obstacles are created.

Customs Brokers

The Committee provides clarity in the information circulated in the media about the removal of customs brokers from dealing in imports. In its statement, the Committee noted that the Customs Code covers the activities of customs brokers and the authorized economic operator. Moreover, this type of structure is provided by the legislation on the recommendations of international experts involved with the support of the EU and UNDP.

The economist Gubad Ibadoglu in connection with the matter said that no one is opposed to customs brokers. "However, customs brokers, rather than to engage in their immediate responsibilities and help entrepreneurs, act as representatives of the interests of the customs authorities, as a result of the prevailing arbitrariness.

It should be noted that the customs brokers have been withdrawn from the list of licensed activities. SCC encourages importers to apply directly to the territorial and specialized management of customs.

"Mirror Statistics"

Independent experts say that in Azerbaijan for years there has been practice of deliberate undervaluation of imported goods and artificial lowering prices in order to avoid customs duties and taxes. This serious corruption charge is responded this way:

"False and baseless is the fact that the commodity imported to Azerbaijan from 15 countries for the last 6 years (2008-2013) in the amount of 21.58 billion dollars did not pass statistical records. These are goods from Germany, Belarus, China, Hungary, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Ukraine, the USA, Japan, Great Britain, Korea, Iran, Israel and France. On the other hand, the budget losses in these years are nothing more than absurd. "

In response to the State Customs Committee’s statement, Gubad Ibadoglu said its "mirror statistics" and information on the means evaded from the budget is based on the official information of the portal of the United Nations trade statistics (http://comtrade.un.org/). He said that at any time he is ready to join the open debate with the officials of the State Customs Committee and prove that.—0--

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