Business has improved its customs valuation
The customs index, which is measured twice a year by the European Business Association, grew in the first half of 2019 and amounted to 3.24 points on a 5-point scale (2.92 points in the previous period). Consequently, the index indicator has moved to the neutral zone.
Experts demonstrate cautious optimism in their studies: 36% of respondents are convinced that the manifestations of corruption in the customs authorities have decreased, although 53% are inclined to believe that the situation has remained unchanged. The number of experts dissatisfied with the quality of customs services decreased significantly from 40% in the previous period to 28% today. At the same time, 47% of respondents said that they were rather satisfied with the quality of services and professionalism of customs officers.
Since February 2018, the use of the Single Window system has become mandatory for the import of goods. The survey showed that 52% of experts are more or less fully satisfied with the work of the Single Window. However, there are almost 23% of those who are dissatisfied with the work of the system, so it is important to eliminate the shortcomings and establish its more efficient work, taking into account the comments from business.
An imperfect system of passing veterinary, phytosanitary control and burdensome control of goods in wooden containers caused the most difficulties for companies in the first half of 2019. The business also complained about the delay in the customs clearance process which occurred due to paper documents being requested in addition to electronic ones.
For the first time since 2017, the index indicator has left the negative zone - which, of course, signals about certain changes. The assessment of all the components of the index increased compared to the previous period. Companies note an improvement in the quality of services and curbing of the corruption level at customs. However, it is a worrying fact that businesses report the same problems from year to year. (this has been said already) We hope that all our suggestions and problematic issues will be taken into account by the new management of the Customs Service and businesses will have a more positive experience of interacting with customs.
We additionally asked our experts if companies had problems with adjusting the customs value and whether they felt the effect of the anti-smuggling operation Bastion. As it turned out, most companies bypassed the problem of adjusting the customs value, while about 30% reported selective pressure when the customs value was unreasonably high or artificially created red tape with documents.
Regarding the results of the Bastion anti-smuggling operation, almost 92% of the experts who participated in the survey said that they did not notice the effect of this operation. At the same time, the companies did not feel any negative impact on the course of customs clearance. Smuggling is a huge problem for both the business and the state. Therefore, we expect a comprehensive plan of action to combat smuggling and are ready to participate in every possible way in order to promote the development of fair business and competition in equal conditions.
The European Business Association has been carrying out the Customs index since 2010.
The study consists of three thematic blocks: corruption, quality of customs services, work of the Single Window. The index is measured twice a year. Mark three is considered neutral. The maximum score is 5 points.
There were 58 customs experts participating in the survey regarding the period of January-June 2019.