New EAEU Customs Code comes into force

1 January 2018

By Darya Belousova-Petrovskaya: Starting today, the new Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union comes into force. It took 4 years to develop the document. Economists, financiers, customs services, and representatives of business took part in the work. The new Customs Code gathered best practices fr om around the world. The developers – and the initiator of the new Code – that is the Belarusian side, traveled to the countries of the European Union, China, Singapore, and South Korea, wh ere they studied their customs system.

The main advantages of the new Customs Code are common rules for all the five countries of the EAEU. All customs administration points on the territory of the Eurasian Union will be the same. Another advantage of the new document is the transition to modern information technologies. And this means the elimination of such practices as paper declarations, standing in lines and direct communication with a customs officer. Now, all these things can be done via a computer in a couple of hours.

Among the possible innovations of the Code is also the creation of duty-free shops at the entrance to the countries of the Eurasian Union, including Belarus. In addition, limits for international postal items will be revised.

They also plan to simplify the rules of customs regulation for free economic zones. For this, FEZ will be established with a special legal status – "territorial". These will be zones with extremely simple rules. In Belarus, there will be 2 such zones, Russia will have 3, and the rest of the Union countries will have one each.

According to the developers, the most important thing that the new Customs Code gives is that we will see competition between the customs administrations of the EAEU countries. Opportunities for everyone are equal, and those states of the "Eurasian Five" who will use them quicker will be more competitive in this market.