On May, 6 2011 the 9th meeting of the Russia-EU Working Group on Customs Border Issues was held in Brussels.
Representatives of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation (FCS) took part in the Working Group from the Russian side. The European Union was represented by experts of European commission (DG TAXUD), European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and Customs authorities of EU Member states.
The meeting was co-chaired by S.Konovalenko, Head of Department for Customs Cooperation, FCS and A.Kastrissianakis, Director of Security and Safety, Trade Facilitation and International Coordination, DG TAXUD.
The following issues were discussed:
1. Safe and fluid trade lanes:
- Developments and state of play at the Russia-EU border,
- Finalisation and implementation of the Early Warning Mechanism,
- Creation of fast lanes: implementation of Authorised Economic Operator schemes and potential benefits.
2. Risk management and fight against fraud:
- Strengthening the dialogue on combating fraud: identification of challenges and joint action;
- Risk management systems in Russia and the EU;
- Exchange of pre-arrival information: implementation and evaluation of the pilot project.
3. Investment in customs modernization:
- Convergence of legislation and procedures;
- Russia's accession to the Common Transit Convention;
- Developing border crossings and customs-related infrastructure;
- Improving on-site cooperation at the border.
4. Other border-related reforms:
- Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan - latest developments;
- implementing the Concept of Border Clearance;
- draft Government of the Russian Federation Decree on checkpoints for scrap metal exports.
The Parties expressed satisfaction with the results of the Working Group meeting, pointing out constructive approaches to seeking solutions of problems which Russia and the EU are facing in the field of customs cooperation, practical character of the arrangements reached, high level of participants and their professional competence that allowed to reach mutual understanding of some previously unresolved issues.
The next session of the Working Group is preliminarily scheduled for October 2011 in Moscow.