The heads of various services and agencies have signed a joint order stating that containers passing through the Odesa customs should not be inspected unnecessarily, the Interfax Ukraine news agency reports. The document was signed by the Odesa division of the State Fiscal Service, the main directorate of the State Fiscal Service in the Odesa region, the main directorate of the Interior Affairs Ministry in the Odessa region, the Yuzhny regional department of State Border Service, and the Odesa regional prosecutor’s office.
According to the document, the heads of these agencies will be personally responsible for unjustified inspections during customs clearance of goods.
"This joint order was issued with the aim of relieving pressure on importers and exporters that process goods at the Odesa customs and increasing the personal responsibility of the heads of the power structures in the region for unjustified inspections of subjects of foreign economic activity during customs clearance," the Odesa customs’ head Yulia Marushevska is quoted as saying.
Inspection of goods or commercial vehicles outside the scope of criminal proceedings will now be possible during customs procedures only after receiving a letter personally signed and stamped by the head of an agency.
In addition, officials from other law enforcement agencies can be present in the customs control area only if their presence complies with the relevant legal regime and only with the written permission of the head of the relevant customs office or customs post. Additionally, officials from other law enforcement agencies can be present in customs control zones located at border crossings on the Ukrainian border only by agreement with the head of the relevant border agency.
"I want to remind you that people that are allowed into the customs control zone are forbidden to interfere in the actions of customs officials performing customs control and customs clearance. They are also forbidden to take any action with respect to goods, vehicles, and other people inside the customs control zone unless otherwise stipulated by law," Marushevska said.
According to statistics from the Odesa regional directorate of the State Fiscal Service, the State Fiscal Service has performed 1,724 customs inspections at the Odesa customs at the initiative of law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities since the beginning of 2015, resulting in the filing of only 17 protocols of violation of customs rules.
The Odesa customs recently simplified the procedure for customs clearance of goods imported from 30 countries (mainly from Europe, the United States, Israel, and some others), pledging their customs clearance based on the contract price if a certificate of origin exists.