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10th International Exhibition, Customs 2009, in Moscow

27 octubre 2009

10th International Exhibition, Customs 2009, in Moscow

20 to 21 October 2009


At the invitation of Mr. Andrey Belyaninov, Director General of the Federal Customs Service in Russia, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, visited Moscow from 20 to 21 October 2009.

During the opening ceremony of the 10th International Exhibition, Customs 2009, Mr. Mikuriya praised Russian Customs for its willingness to use this forum to enhance dialogue with business and to strengthen Customs cooperation with neighbouring countries by sharing its innovation and technology.

In a bilateral meeting with the Secretary General, Mr. Belyaninov explained Russian policy to increase the alignment of its procedures with WCO standards, particularly in the context of forming a Customs union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. He also intended to extend their international cooperation in close coordination with WCO programmes, including the electronic exchange of advance information with neighbouring countries. Stressing the importance of adhering to WCO instruments, Russia formally informed the Secretary General ofits acceptanceof 20 WCO recommendations covering various areas.In this regard, the Secretary General highly appreciated the Russian initiative as a good example to be followed by other administrations.

Whilst in Russia, senior managers of the Committee of Heads of Law Enforcement Divisions of the Customs Services of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) countries briefed the Secretary General on the outcome of “Operation Sentinel” which recently took place in August and September 2009 to combat drug trafficking throughout the Central Asian countries. This Operation involved the 10 Customs services in the CIS region and was coordinated by the WCO RILO in Moscow, supported by the WCO Secretariat, using the WCO CENComm system for the secure exchange of data. The Operation resulted in over 100 seizures of drugs; more than 160 kg ranging from heroin to opium, and from cannabis to marijuana. This programme would be converted to a long-term operational cooperation initiative among the CIS countries.

Mr. Mikuriya also took the opportunity to meet Mr. Tair Mansurov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Economic Community (EAEC) and his Deputy, Mr. Sergey Glazyev, to discuss the establishment of the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Mr. Mansurov explained that their harmonized Customs procedures would be fully based on the WCO revised Kyoto Convention and in this regard, requested the support of the WCO. Both the WCO and the EAEC agreed to work together for the promotion and implementation of the Customs Union in line with the WCO programme.

The WCO Secretary General also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Eurasian development Bank for future cooperation.

Click here to read the Joint Communiqué on Operation Sentinel

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