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Mukai Kadyrkulov: EEU achieved most in customs regulation

Tomorrow, Bishkek will host the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council. The day before, 24.kg news agency talked to Mukai Kadyrkulov, member of the board (minister) for customs cooperation of the Eurasian Economic Commission about the results of Kyrgyzstan's membership in EEU, problems and the new Customs Code.

— More than a year and a half ago, Kyrgyzstan became a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. There are many opinions concerning this step. What are the first results of integration in your opinion?

-Eurasian economic integration is a priority for Kyrgyzstan. It’s not just integration for the sake of integration. It was important for us to access the union which, along with the economic potential, would take into account the historical aspects of society, its national characteristics, know and respect the traditional moral and cultural values ​​of the Kyrgyz people.

EEU is a multi-vector economic space. The right of union is mandatory for all member states, has direct action power. A significant number of documents are approved at the supranational level. And today, the voice of Kyrgyzstan has an equal power with the rest of the countries of the union, both in the development of such documents and in their adoption.

— Why is it important? And is it really an effective tool for protection of own interests?

— The main trading partners of Kyrgyzstan are the countries of EEU. If we were not members of the union, whether we would like or not, we would still observe the right of EEU.

But one thing is to play by the rules that you defined on a par with everyone, and the other — by those that had been defined without you.

Kyrgyzstan already had such an experience. When the Customs Union was formed, its customs border was at the Kyrgyz-Kazakh section. And we had faced with norms and rules that were not ready for. Now we are the direct developers of all documents adopted in the union, we can influence this work and stage-by-stage prepare our economy for changes.

— And what about the opinion that we had joined EEU too early, we had to wait a little?

— Kyrgyzstan is not the only country of EEU which expressed such doubts. The beginning of the union coincided with a difficult economic period. Almost all EEU countries faced with problems, overstated expectations, survived the adaptation period. Kyrgyzstan is the youngest participant of the integration, which is going through a transition period now. This is a natural process. Integration is not a quick action with a momentary effect. The accession to the union alone can not solve the economic problems, which had been accumulating for over 20 years.

EEU market is not only a multi-million, but also a highly competitive market. To master it, desire is not enough, it requires a painstaking work of the whole society.

Changes in the structure of the country’s economy were needed. It was necessary to move away from the re-export component. The practical step towards the changes was the establishment of the Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund to improve the economy and effectively use the opportunities that the Eurasian economic integration gives Kyrgyzstan.

— And what are the results?

— We see an expansion of the production component in the economy of the republic. And it is not only in the light industry, but also in agriculture. Customs borders were abolished, information and software assets were upgraded. The modernization of the customs infrastructure, sanitary and veterinary control is being carried out in accordance with the uniform requirements of the Union.

Our citizens can quietly live and work in EEU countries. Kyrgyzstanis no longer need to confirm diplomas, get labor licenses and prove that they speak Russian. And this is a time-consuming and expensive procedure.

— So, have only the migrants felt the advantages?

— By no means. Kyrgyzstan got a guaranteed economic stabilizer, a safety cushion thanks to the current system of distribution of customs duties. The republic, step by step, realizes the possibilities of the union. After all, all EEU countries get a mutual benefit from participation in the Eurasian integration.

— You had been the head of the Customs Service some time ago. What 2016 achievements of the Eurasian integration could you mention?

— Customs regulation is the sphere of integration in which our countries have achieved the most. At the time of the formation of the union, there were 23 obstacles to the movement of goods on the common market due to the lack of integration in the customs sphere. There are four of them now, a part will disappear after the Customs Code of EEU enters into force.

In 2016, the EEC Customs Unit developed more than 70 regulations aimed at simplifying and accelerating customs procedures, ensuring uniform enforcement practices in EEU. In addition, a number of simplifications have been adopted on the declaration of goods and transport, reduction in the quantity of information that must be included in electronic declarations.

The Eurasian Economic Union has passed the stage of formation and is now perceived in the world economic community as a strong, reliable and long-term player.

Talks on the establishment of customs information exchange with Vietnam in the framework of the free trade agreement started. In 2016, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Eurasian Economic Commission and the World Customs Organization. This will allow us to deeper study the advanced international practices and adapt the best practices to the union.

And, of course, the main result of the year was the completion of work on the Customs Code of EEU. This is the second most important document after the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.

— The document has managed to make a lot of noise…

— It is not surprising. The Code became the first large-scale document that was jointly developed by EEC, state bodies and business communities of five countries of the union at all stages. This is an unprecedented format of developing legislation for our countries. Previously, business was involved in documents of this level only at the stage of agreement.

All norms directly related to customs regulation and movement of goods will now work in the same way in all countries of the Union.

— What is also new in the Customs Code?

— It is completely focused on electronic technologies. We retain paper format only where it is simply unprofitable. It is, for example, declaration of goods, transported by citizens for personal use. The new Code has foundation for the full introduction of «single window» mechanism in the system of regulation of the foreign economic activity.

Decisions on registration of a declaration for goods, registration, decisions on the release of goods will be issued automatically by the information systems in fact without participation of an inspector.

Decisions on additional checks, form of their conducting will also be taken by a computer, not by a person. It’s faster. And we actually mitigate the human factor risk.

New technologies will reduce the time of the release of goods at least six times. These are not just slogans. The new Code already states that the goods must be released within four hours since the registration of the declaration.

One of the most striking articles of the new Code, developed in close cooperation with business, is the improved institute of the authorized economic operator. We consider them as reliable partners of the state. Therefore, we are ready to present this category of business very serious simplifications in the work.

— You told about the work of the business on the Customs Code of EEU. Is such an openness of EEC an experiment or a standard practice?

— The Commission works extremely openly. The business of all five countries of the Union is a full-fledged participant of the integration processes. Authorized representatives of business communities are full members of working and expert groups in the development of all regulations that go beyond the walls of EEC.

Draft decisions of the commission, directly influencing the interests of business, necessarily undergo a regulatory impact assessment. If we receive substantive comments or suggestions, the draft is sent for revision. Thus, we do not make any decisions without the consent of the business.

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