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Customs reform in Georgia highlighted during its international conference

25 octubre 2010

Customs reform in Georgia highlighted during its international conference

Tbilisi, 21-22 October 2010


At the invitation of the Head of the Revenue Service in Georgia, Giorgi Tskhakaia, WCO Secretary General, Kunio Mikuriya, visited Tbilisi on 21 and 22 October 2010 to speak at the International Conference on Customs Reform organized by Georgia.

Georgia embarked on a comprehensive Customs reform programme in 2006. It has three components: simplification and reduction of tariff levels; streamlined Customs procedures based on risk management which are highly automated and completely paperless; and improved human resource management with a drastic change of personnel and an improvement in salaries. In this way discretion at operation level has been reduced with a centralized system of transparent decision-making on tariff matters. This business-friendly culture has resulted in a constant increase in revenue while Customs personnel have enjoyed better working conditions. Georgia has also introduced a unified Customs and tax administration under a unified legal system. Secretary General Mikuriya hailed the new young and dynamic leadership which has brought a new culture of integrity in line with the WCO Arusha Declaration – a cornerstone of capacity building activities.

The Secretary General also met the Georgian Minister of Finance, Kakha Baindurashvili, who stressed the importance of political will in pursuing reform. Now that their internal Customs reform had stabilized, it was now time to expand cooperation with other Customs administrations, including information exchange and joint use of border crossing points. Georgia had recently concluded an agreement with Turkey in this regard and had signed an agreement witth Ukraine on information exchange and joint training.