Taking into account that the issue of accession of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the World Trade Organization is one of the topical issues, it is important to ensure compliance of national legislation, including customs legislation with the multilateral agreements adopted within the framework of this authoritative international organization.
In particular, it is necessary to bring the Customs Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan into compliance with the international conventions, including the Kyoto Convention "On simplification and harmonization of customs procedures".
In accordance with the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan a new edition of the Customs Code was developed in order to continue the formation of a unified legal framework for customs activity, to ensure uniform application of legal norms to improve the transparency of customs operations.
For the past period, with the purpose of ensuring compliance of customs legislation with international standards, creating favorable conditions for foreign trade participants, a new edition of the Customs Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been developed with the participation of leading experts of the relevant ministries, agencies and international experts.
The revised edition of the Customs Code has focused on the following issues:
exclude the possibility of liberalization of customs legislation, making customs procedures simple and transparent, make every term and norms understandable and exclude different interpretation of them;
to create a mechanism for stimulating observance of customs legislation by participants of foreign economic activity;
Implementation of norms of international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan, universally recognized principles of international law, recommendations and standards of international organizations;
to implement the experience of developed countries in the area of customs administration, including tariff regulation and customs control.
The difference between proposed and valid Customs Codes.
The current Customs Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of 12 section, 59 chapters, 412 article and the new project structure consists of 9 sections, 35 chapters and 296 articles.
The number of articles was reduced for the following reasons:
- Excluded duplicates contained in other legislative documents;
- the set of basic concepts(definitions) has been expanded by combining them. The current Customs Code provides for 16 definitions, while the draft provides clarifications to 49 concepts, which in turn ensure that the terms used in customs legislation are simple and understandable to the citizens;
- the procedure for conditional release of goods is excluded. In order to release the goods, according to the project, declarant must declare the goods to the relevant "special procedure" (the introduction of this provision will regulate issues related to the conditionally released goods under customs control);
- simplification of customs procedures based on the tendencies of development of foreign economic activity, radically changing the order of placement, change, sale, storage and other operations on goods in selected customs procedures. Therefore, it is envisaged to draft a special resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to present in detail the entire procedure.
- By the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the customs authorities are excluding 24 articles in connection with the abolition of permits for the placement of goods under the customs regime and issuance of permits in the area of customs affairs;
- with the purpose of creating more favorable conditions for carriers and participants of foreign economic activity, increasing the transit potential of the country - abolishing the procedures for acting as a “customs carrier”
- customs clearance department is reorganized in compliance with international norms, duplicate and ineffective payment rates are dismissed.
New rules introduced into the draft Customs Code of new edition
- the norms of the articles are short and clearly stated so as to make them easy to understand and not to interpret;
- the concepts used are unified, the uniform interpretation and application of the existing norms, rules and their accuracy is ensured;
- the order of further actions with goods which have been damaged as a result of an accident or emergency during temporary storage under the customs regime (Art. 10);
- prolongation of the preliminary decision on classification of goods is extended from one to three years, which saves time and financial costs of the participant of the foreign trade (Art. 19);
- it is determined by the project that the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan will issue a certificate of origin of goods in the customs regime of "processing on customs territory" (Article 26);
- Commercial documents can serve as a certificate of origin for goods worth up to $ 5,000 (Article 27) (currently a foreign trade participant is required to providea certificate of origin to obtain the customs privileges);
- details of occurrence and termination of obligations on payment of customs duties, as well as persons responsible for payment of customs duties (Articles 52-53);
- detailed methods of providing of payment of customs duties, as well as the ways of payment of customs payments through "main provision" (Articles 65-72), (through this method a participant of a foreign trade operation may use "main provosion" on several simultaneous customs operations)
- provision of the form of “insurance contract” as a guarantee of payment of customs duties is meant to made by the State Customs Committee, the introduction of this procedure requires that insurance organizations properly perform their duties to the FEA member and the state (Article 69);
- customs privileges have been revised in accordance with international norms and practices (Articles 88-92);
- the carrier's obligations to pay customs duties and their cancellation are revealed (Art. 104);
- "Temporary storage" customs regime is excluded and this procedure can be considered as a customs operation, to create more favorable conditions for participants of foreign economic activity, as well as to simplify customs clearance (Articles 108-113);
- the name of the cargo customs declaration is harmonized with international norms and conventions and is designated as the "declaration of goods" (Article 120);
- It is proposed to introduce a "transit declaration" as a short declaration in respect of goods and vehicles moving between the two posts, instead of a cargo checkbook (Article 122);
- detailed verbal, written and electronic methods and procedures for declaring goods (Article 123);
- the period of release of goods is determined to take place within one working day from the date of declaration (today, this period is three working days; the introduction of this rule enables the FEA participants to register and release their goods shortly) (Article 133);
- the procedure for the transfer of goods of the FEA participants which are under the customs control, under certain customs regimes and have been stored for a long time in the customs warehouse and has not been claimed by FEA participants to the state owning(Articles 137-139);
- in the project the concept of "customs regimes" is now called "customs procedure" in accordance with international standards;
- “temporary import” and “temporary export” customs regimes are combined into one “temporary import / export” customs procedure;
- when placing the goods under the customs procedure of "warehouse", the storage term is one year (the current term is 3 years) (Article 154);
- a foreign trade participant is allowed to enter into agreements relating to the transfer of ownership, use and (or) disposal of all or any of the goods placed under the "warehouse" customs procedure (Article 154) ( Opportunities are not available);
- customs procedure names are easily and simply stated (for example "warehouse", "import", etc.) to make it accessible to ordinary citizens;
- introducing new "special" customs procedures for goods of diplomatic representations, goods imported for privileged and state-owned projects, supplies for sports events (Articles 174-175);
- “processing in customs territory” and “processing outside customs territory” procedures were revised to promote domestic production, and these procedures were simplified and privileges were extended to encourage manufacturers;
- in order to increase the tourism potential of the country, the period of stay of vehicles belonging to foreigners is extended from 90 to 180 days in accordance with the Istanbul Convention (Article 184);
- a new institute of appeals is implemented, to appeal decisions of customs authorities, including their requirements and actions (inaction) (Chapter 32);
- proposed to impose financial sanctions on legal entities that do not comply with customs legislation, to reduce customs duties, and to misuse the privileges;
- creation of a new institute of Authorized Economic Operator for companies that are well-known to encourage and promote honest entrepreneurs. Such companies can carry out foreign economic activity through simplified customs procedures, while customs authorities are more likely to work in other areas with increased risk of violations. (Articles 276, 277);
In a word, the draft represents a new ideology of customs regulation and is fundamentally different from the existing Customs Code. This project is based on equality of business entities, freedom of entrepreneurial activity and other activities not prohibited by law. Its provisions are closely related to civil laws and laws regulating foreign economic activity.
The revised Customs Code draft was posted on August 17 this year on the Portal for Discussion (regulation.gov.uz) under ID-6485, and to date more than 2500 people have been familiarized with the project and gave suggestions.
Proposals are being studied in detail by the working group of the State Customs Committee. Please note that the discussion of the draft of the new edition of the Customs Code will continue until September 1 of this year.
Head of Information Service