Russia and Belgium strengthen the customs co-operation
On the 12the of April, 2006, Alexander Zherikhov, Chief of the RF FCS held a meeting with Noel Colpine, Head of Central Customs and Excise Administration of the Royal FCS of Belgium.
The subject of discussion was the forthcoming ratification by the Parliament of Belgium of the agreement, concluded between the Russia Government and the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium on October 2, 2001on mutual executive assistance in organizing of exchange of information between customs services of Russia and Belgium, on joint countermeasures against violation of intellectual property rights and intensification of information interchange in the region of law enforcement.
At present time, interaction between customs services of Russia and Belgium is actualized on the basis of Agreement of Partnership and Cooperation, concluded between the Russian Federation, on the one part, and Common Market countries, on the other, as well as on the related Protocol “On rendering of mutual executive assistance with a view to proper application of customs law”, signed on June 24, 1994.
During the meeting, a special emphasis was placed on organization of exchange of information between the customs services of Russia and Belgium in the framework of preparation for implementation of the Frame Standards, developed by the World Customs Organization as a means to promote security and facilitate world trade. The senior managers agreed to set up a workshop, intended for elaboration of legal, information and technical, operating and other conditions for exchange of information. While organizing mutual exchange of information the customs services of the two countries will concentrate on the analysis of the risk management systems, used by the parties, on technique and procedures of customs control of containers as well as on information in respect of authorized customs operators.
During the meeting, the senior managers also agreed on intensification of data exchange in the framework of execution of requests of law-enforcement nature, on organizing of regular sessions of competent officers with a view to exchange of experience, gained in taking countermeasures against violation of intellectual property rights as well as on tuning of constructive coordination between the customs services of airports of Russia and Belgium.
Upon completion of the discussions, A.Zherikhov and N.Colpine signed Minutes of the Meeting.
Belgium is a traditional trade and economic partner of Russia. The country occupies the 17th position in the foreign trade turnover of Russia. In 2004, the value of mutual trade turnover between Russia and Belgium amounted to $3.0 billions, with $1.8 billions falling at Russian export. Belgium is a major import merchant of Russian energy carriers. Almost half of Russia’s overall export to this country falls to the share of importation of these articles to Belgium. Apart from mineral fuel, other articles, imported by Belgium from Russia are diamonds (18%), ferrous and nonferrous metals and products hereof (12%). In its turn, almost a quarter of Russian import from Belgium falls at machinery and equipment, chemical industry products, polymeric materials, etc.