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CU poised to unify duties on oil products 23 сентября 2013, 17:43

The Customs Union countries - Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus - are working to align duties on oil products to tackle corruption.
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Photo by Marat Abilov© Photo by Marat Abilov©
The Customs Union countries - Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus - are working to align duties on oil products, Tengrinews reports citing Kazakhstan Finance Minister Bolat Zhamishev. “We are working on unification of the import and export duties. Our import duties on 94 types of oil products are different and this creates a range of problems," Zhamishev said. According to him, unifying import duties, in particular, those on oil products, will decrease corruption in the system, because "it is impossible to visually tell on oil product from the other". “One oil product is often imported under the guise of another oil product.Corruption is clearly high here and this undermines efficiency. That’s why we are working in this direction and this year we will submit suggestions on unification of duties for a whole range of imported goods to the Customs Union’s commission,” the Minister said. According to Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Kazakhstan Parliament) deputy Gulzhana Karagussova, the Customs Union has become a perfect place for siphoning money off to offshore accounts. “Kazakhstan’s operations under the Customs Union require special attention. The CU territory has become a perfect system for transferring money to offshore accounts thanks to lack of border control (and coordination) between the CU countries. It is very difficult to control pseudo-exporters that use this shortcoming (lack of coordination),” Karagussova said. This makes information exchange, especially between the customs authorities of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, very important. Lack of such interaction affects the quality of the goods declaration, and increases the customs clearance time, she believes. “I recommend that we focus on unification of duties on the groups of goods that look alike to prevent any manipulations during the customs clearance,” she stressed. By Baubek Konyrov

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