The Ministry of Finance has completed work on the draft of the Customs Reform Action Plan. An important step is taken, but are we moving in the right direction?
Andriy Savarets`, the CASE Ukraine legal expert, who coordinates customs issues in the ‘Reanimation Package of Reforms’, believes that the value of any reform is its ability to be completed with an achievement of the goals set or by going into a dead end.
Here are some questions that need to be answered for successful implementation of reforms:
The main question which disturbs the business, citizens and the customs officers themselves is the question of responsibility for the decisions made, particularly for illegal ones.
The proposal, which was developed by experts and supported in the Ministry of Finance, is that the scope and forms of customs control should be generated by the Automated System of Analysis and Risk Management. This norm is also enshrined in the Customs Code, but it requires some changes.
The customs inspector should be responsible for decisions taken at his own discretion, in particular on the independent determination of the scope and introduction of additional forms of customs control.
The customs inspector should not be responsible for the non-application of additional forms of customs control in case of further detection of a violation of customs rules, if such forms of customs control were not generated by the Automated system.
5) The insurance fund will be formed at the expense of deductions from the customs officer`s salary. The funds accumulated in the insurance fund will be used to cover the insurance event, which are unlawful actions of the customs inspector which damaged to the subject.
6) One of the options for raising salaries, as well as the regulation of the legal status of the customs inspector, is the withdrawal of the customs officers from the Law of Ukraine ‘On State Service’ effect and the introduction of individual contracts between the customs service and the employee, which will provide clear rights, responsibilities, and the grounds for termination of the contract.
7) A separate issue, which should be reflected in the plan of action (and in general in objective reality), – is an opposition to the schemes of illegal import of goods into the customs territory. What customs do we want to see? Will it be a fiscal authority, a service authority or a body of economic security? Or should we balance the work of the customs in all three directions?
And, in fact, what will be the objective reflection of the customs? The desire of the Ministry of Finance, according to Andriy Savarets`, is to create a more or less manageable customs structure. But the root of the problem is not this. First of all, we must be honest with ourselves and recognize that customs cannot develop effectively within the framework of the Fiscal service. It may exist, but not develop!
Read more in Andrey Savarets`s article for the ‘Dzerkalo tyzhnia’ (‘Mirror of the Week’) newspaper.