Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Armenia wants to become Customs Union member as soon as possible

BelTA

Armenia is interested in acceding to the Customs Union (CU) as soon as possible, Chairman of the State Revenue Committee under the Armenian government Gagik Khachturyan said at the session of the joint panel of the customs services of the CU member states held in Novopolotsk on 12 February, BelTA has learnt.

Opening the session, Director of Russias Federal Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov noted that the bulk of the work to harmonize views on interaction between the customs services of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan had already been carried out by experts. He underlined that there is a reason why Armenia was taking part in the session. "Armenia has clearly expressed its desire to join the Customs Union. One of our goals is to address all the formalities concerning interaction between the customs services as quickly as possible," Andrei Belyaninov said.

Gagik Khachturyan, for his part, underlined that Armenian experts closely cooperate with the CU customs services. "There are no problems at all. We desire to accede to the CU, the political decision has also been made. We would like to join the Union as soon as possible," Gagik Khachturyan said.

The guests also congratulated Belarus on the first Olympic gold in Sochi. "We are extremely happy. This is pleasing not only for Belarus but for all of us. We are all active participants of the Olympics now," Andrei Belyaninov said.

Taking part in the session were heads of customs services of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan. The head of the Armenian customs service and representatives of customs services of Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine attended the session as observers. The meeting reviewed the matters pertaining to information exchange between customs authorities as part of control over common customs processes. The sides discussed ways to improve customs formalities in respect of goods purchased by individuals in online stores and delivered to them by express carriers. The development of common approaches to the classification of goods in accordance with the unified commodity nomenclature applied by the Customs Union in its foreign economic activity was raised. Additional measures to encourage foreign citizens to remove non-Belarus-registered vehicles for personal use which have been temporarily imported to the country were mentioned. The implementation of measures to reduce the number of state controlling bodies at checkpoints across the state borders of the CU member states and other matters relating to customs cooperation were discussed.

The decisions taken will further strengthen cooperation between the customs services of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia in order to improve customs administration when moving goods across the CU customs border.

At the session the sides signed a protocol which terminates the agreement between the Belarusian government and the government of the Russian Federation concerning the transit of goods between customs bodies of the Republic of Belarus and of the Russian Federation signed on 29 June 2007. The sides prepared the protocol following the inventory check of bilateral and international treaties. Such a protocol was necessary because since the CU Customs Code came into force to regulate the movement of goods in line with the customs procedure of customs transit between the customs bodies of the CU member states, the provisions of the aforementioned agreement have not de-facto been applied.