Customs Need Stable Law And Skilful Customs Officers
25 April, 2012
Customs Need Stable Law And Skilful Customs Officers

Frequent changes in customs legislation and lack of professional skills in customs personnel still puzzle business in Georgia in spite of successful reforms of 2010-2011, making Georgian customs administration corruption-free and more business-friendly.



The governmental approach toward business has been fundamentally changes in 2011. A new head of Revenue Service assigned to the post in spring of 2011 conducted a very fruitful campaign developing communication between government and business through permanent consultations with business and making both tax and customs

administration more tax-payers oriented.  But integration of customs law with tax code in 2010 so as to regulate tax-related issued through one code made custom framework legislation relatively superficial and laid ground to instability of regulation. The point is that number of essential paragraphs was removed from customs code and put in different secondary legislation that is changed quite frequently as a rule. And searching for permanently changing regulations dissipated beyond framework law is a discomforting and burdensome task to business that is lost in normative acts as a consequence.


Bondo Bolkvadze, independent customs expert, approves integration of customs and tax code as an idea but he thinks that the removed paragraphs would better be put back so as to make the framework legislation more comprehensive and stable what is the most important to business.
“Unification of tax and customs codes was a good thing from administrative expenses point of view. But I disapprove that customs code became very shallow as a result, I think the code had better be more comprehensive and all key issues and provisions that must be stable and were removed from code and put in  secondary legislation be put back in the code. Secondary legislation is easier to change that enables to change some things even once per month or week. Unstable legislation is unpleasant to business.  I would like to have customs code more spacious and effective,” Bolkvadze said in the interview with Georgian Journal. 
Another key customs challenge is inexperienced customs officers. To solve the endemic corruption problem in customs administration resistant for many years Rose Government almost completely removed old  personnel from customs body and employed new staff who do not take bribes but lack professionel skills harassing business during customs procedures. Some businessmen even joke that they would like to have back the old officers who used to solve the problem for GEL 50 instantly rather than spend hours with inexperienced greenies for time is very important to business.
Bolkvadze agrees that lack of professional skills in customs officers is one of the key challenges Georgian Revenue Service [incorporating both tax and custom administration after reforms of 2007 based on the analogy of  similar successful services in several EU states] must solve but  approves governmental policy of changing cadres  by almost by 95% believing that it was impossible to combat corruption otherwise.
“Customs reforms and procedures moved forward very much in 2011 and 2010  from service point of view as its priority was focused on tax-payers and some kind of common satisfaction was achieved in business circles, however there are some issues that still remain problematic: for example improvement of professional skills of customs personnel. There is deficit of skills at the moment as far as there were fundamental reforms customs recently and about 95% of personel was changed and now average experience of them is about 2 years and 6 months or less. There are some obstacles that are removed in 1-2 hours but training of new staff to improve their skills can bring to better results. This change was a good step for corruption cannot be removed otherwise, old generation might teach only corruption to the new one who face deficit of experience but they manage their task whatsoever,” Bolkvadze said in the interview with Georgian Journal. 
According to him, bribing customs officers to solve the problem instantly was handy to big fishes like transportation companies with an expansive chain of channels but small business who imported things once a quarter and had no connections was discriminated and had to stay in demurrage for three days.
“Corruption and so called GEL 50 deals were actual when the total corruption was prohibited and everything was put in frameworks of law but the law was so unclear that caused delays and this GEL 50 was seriously a very good tool to get through difficulties. But new Customs Clearance Zones (CCZ) introduced in 2010-2011 and offering one-stop-shop principle for customs clearance offers a really good high standard service, private sector seems quite happy, importers submit only documents and can relax; they can enjoy excellent comforts in cafes and bars,” Bolkvadze elaborated.
However business claim the state-based CCZ fixes high prices and it ousted private customs clearance terminals off the market through state pressure. Bolkvadze downplays he monopolization theory as customs clearance procedures falls in the state responsibility and it did not do this before for there was no infrastructure. But Bolkvadze finds the CZZ tariffs really high that counter the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO) that includes Georgia as its member state. According to him, the fee tariffs were defined by Georgian government while the tariff policy should be based on the WTO recommendations advising that any fee for service rendered by the state to the private sector should not exceed the service cost.

 

Print
Other Stories
Georgian citizens are granted the right to work in France
The French Embassy in Georgia made remarks on granting Georgian citizens the right to work in France
The New York Times: Bitcoin declines but Georgia still bet on it
The New York Times has recently published an article about reasons, challenges and causes of generating Bitcoin in the former Soviet country Georgia.
EU to allocate € 13 billion for Eastern Partnership countries, including Georgia
The European Union together with the World Bank plans to allocate investment worth € 13 billion for infrastructure projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
Anaklia Port and its importance for Georgia
In 2016, Anaklia Development Consortium was authorized to launch the construction of Anaklia Port.
Cryptocurrency mining threatens electrical network in Abkhazia
In the breakaway region of Akbhazia rampant cryptocurrency mining is threatening the shaky electrical network, reports an article of the news portal EuroNet.
Caucasus Wine University to be opened in Gurjaani
In the Kakheti region a new viticulture campus of the Caucasus University is in the process of planning.
Photos describing life of the poorest in Georgia
Fight with poverty should be among top priorities of every government in every country.
Training farmers to rescue the organic hazelnut production in Georgia
Even drizzling rain and unpleasant gusts of wind can’t prevent the farmers from coming and participating in the agricultural training.
Bleak times for organic farmers in Georgia – but there is hope
Organic hazelnut production is a delicate plant in Georgia that has emerged just a couple of years ago. Various pests, among them the Asian stink bug Parosana, trouble hazelnut farmers and menace their livelihood – even before their businesses could really take off.
Hybrid car imports are going through the roof in Georgia
Thanks to their fuel economy, the popularity of hybrid cars is increasing in Georgia, where fuel affordability is low and prices for fuel are unstable.
The New Year offer from MAQRO Construction - Apartments with unbelievable discounts and the parking spaces for FREE!
Location, green yard, spaces for various needs, experience of the construction company and parking space are the main important criteria for potential buyers of apartments.
Interview with the co-founder of Kiwi Vegan Café – the first vegan place in Tbilisi
Behind the Kiwi Vegan Café stands a group of activists who wants to raise Georgian’s awareness for animal rights and welfare.
Biblusi opens first shop for tourists - Georgian
The largest book shop in Georgia Biblusi opens the first shop specially designated to the needs and interests of tourists and named it Georgian.
Georgia improves by five ranks in the Prosperity Index
In the overall Prosperity Index rankings, Georgia has climbed by 5 positions from 85 to 80 when compared to last year. As such, Georgia is the best performing country in the CIS zone.
The future is bright for electric cars in Georgia
The numerous hybrid cars in the streets of Tbilisi cannot be overlooked. Entrepreneur Sulkhan Gvalia calls them “pagers”, referring to the predecessor of mobile phones.
Georgia’s fight against the big tiny enemy – Asian Parosana
It’s a tiny creature, but the harm it did to the Georgian agriculture sector was and still is immense.
New cable route: from Kobi to Gudauri in 15 minutes
On the 15th of December, cable transport is scheduled to be opened connecting Kobi and Gudauri.
Tourist boom in Gudauri – majority of hotels are booked by foreigners
Gudauri is among the most popular winter resorts in Georgia.
Medical tourism increases in Georgia
In the last 9 months, Georgia was visited by 19 500 foreigners for medical and recovery purposes.
Doing business in Georgia has become easier than in America
According to the Doing Business 2019 report published by the World Bank, Georgia ranked 6th among 190 countries in terms of simplicity of doing business. This was an improvement over two ranks compared to last year.
Problems that foreigners frequently face in Georgia
The importance of Georgia as a tourism hub is growing year after year.
Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower – Better than the Eiffel Tower?
It is planned to renovate the Tbilisi TV Broadcasting Tower, one of the landmarks in the capital.
Georgian Fusion Menu by The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi
5,895,914 international visitors have visited Georgia between January and August of 2018. Compared to the previous year the number has increased by 12.2 per cent.
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia
Advertising of gambling and lucrative games may become banned in Georgia. Those who violate the new rule would be fined GEL 10 000.
Lebanese café-lounge Beirut opens in Tbilisi
What is necessary to organize an unforgettable event? – Fun, emotions, lots of surprises, good music and delicious menu.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
18.02.2019
19.02.2019
USD
1
USD
2.6413
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9791
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3851
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9608
3.9608
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6413
EUR
1
EUR
2.9791
GBP
1
GBP
3.3851
RUB
100
RUB
3.9608
February 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28