“Stolichnyi Express” # 2/2010
The Initiative that should be Supported
The two large-scale projects with similar names “Electronic Customs” (E-Customs), the EU project and the Ukrainian one were covered in sufficient detail in the previous publication. The material on the Ukrainian E-Customs provided an opportunity to evaluate the path traversed and visualize the problems faced by the State Customs Service in the implementation of advanced technologies.
Of course, we cannot but agree with the fact that the problem of establishing interdepartmental interactions is very difficult, and to deal with them and still some time and definite efforts will be needed. But, at the same time, the onset of information technologies from outside (EU and Customs Union) does not allow to stop the main thing – the development process of electronic declaration.
According to SCSU, from April 2009 to April 2010 processed were:
- 665 electronic preliminary declarations;
- About 7,000 electronic preliminary notifications; and
- 2 electronic cargo customs declarations.
Pre-declaration and prior notification are the documents that are submitted to the customs authority before the cargo crosses the customs border of Ukraine, and perform the function of the document relating to the control over delivery of the consignment to the customs of destination.
The customs authorities still continue the research stage of operation of the software designed to accept and process electronic declarations. This stage only involves the work with the documents of preliminary nature.
The Register of the enterprises, to whose goods the electronic declaration procedure may be applied, includes 38 enterprises. A year ago the quantity of such companies was half as many – 19.
As these figures show, the introduction of electronic technologies in the customs field in Ukraine has a positive trend.
In accordance with the concept of design, implementation and development of the goods electronic declaration system (which is approved by Order of SCSU) the procedure of electronic declaration for traders consists of the following actions:
- Filling in, according to the established procedure, cargo customs declaration in the electronic form;
- Attaching the electronic copies of the documents required for customs control and customs clearance of goods to the declaration;
- Formation of the message and its certification by electronic digital signature;
- Address transfer of such authorized message to the information system of customs authorities.
Obviously, many companies in Ukraine, including those conducting foreign trade transactions, have already implemented the electronic document circulation in their own activities and many are planning this transition as very convenient for control of their business.
Consequently, such companies have all the necessary prerequisites for the introduction of the electronic form of documents movement registration used in the foreign trade activities. It would be very appropriate, if SCSU provides in UAIS for acceptance of such documents attached to e-CCD not in the form of paper originals scanned copies, but in the form of electronic documents as well as it is described in Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Documents and Electronic Document Circulation.”
Providing such opportunities would not only allow to continue (or start) in the territory of Ukraine a chain of electronic information, which more and more often accompany the international goods and transport flows, but also to make a real step toward combining the customs authorities’ and trading community’s document circulation, and ultimately to recognize other documents containing the necessary information as Customs Declaration.
The growing interest of the trading community in the early implementation of E-Customs in Ukraine s also evidenced by the recent establishment by the Public Council fact at SCSU of a joint Working Group for electronic declaration and electronic document circulation.
Let us repeat the algorithm promulgated by SCSU “Six steps required to be made by an entrepreneur to use the E-Customs” for the companies wishing to join the electronic declaration procedure.
In order to get in the list of companies entitled to use E-Customs the following steps must be performed:
1. Acquaint with the Ukrainian legislation establishing the basic legal and organizational principles of electronic document management (Law of Ukraine dated 22.05.2003 # 851 -IV), determining the legal status of the electronic digital signature and regulating the relations that arise when using digital signature (Law of Ukraine dated 22.05.2003 # 852 -IV).
2. Check the Procedure of determining the enterprises, to whose the goods the electronic declaration procedure may be applied (Order of SCSU dated 8.08.2007 # 669 registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on 21.08.2007 as # 967/14234) and the Procedure of the customs control and customs clearance of the goods, which are declared alongside with the submission of cargo customs declaration in the electronic form (Order of SCSU dated 26.09.2007 # 800 registered with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine on 11.10.2007 as # 1166/14433).
3. Apply to the Customs at the place of accreditation for inclusion in the register of companies, to whose goods the electronic declaration procedure may be applied.
4. Buy from the respective developing companies specialized software that allows manufacturing electronic cargo customs declaration (hereinafter – ECCD) and other electronic documents (hereinafter – ED) in the format of electronic declaration (find the detailed information in the Internet at the following addresses: www.dbridge.com.ua, www.mdoffice.com.ua, www.qdpro.com.ua).
5. Purchase at an accredited centre of keys certification an electronic key to be for the electronic digital signature of documents. Today the keys issued by JSC ІVK (www.ivk.org.ua) are reliably supported.
6. Equip an automated working place supplied with connection to the Internet and individual mailbox for sending/receiving messages to/from SCSU (Regional Information Customs).
By using the software noted in step 4 and taking into account the procedure of preparing and implementing procedures of electronic declaration (find it available on the official SCSU website in the Internet – www.customs.gov.ua, Section “E-Customs”) and send test ECCD and ED at first.
In case of successful transfer of the test messages pass over to the daily ECCD issuance.
On the assumption that a change in the appearance of the customs authorities functions performance will not result in the disappearance of the incentives for the customs rules violations by foreign activity traders, the full implementation of E-Customs in Ukraine needs a number of successive steps aimed at:
- Creation of legislative ground in order to be able to use information and communication technologies in the relationship both between the regulators and participants of foreign trade activities, as well as between the supervisory authorities themselves; it is a necessary condition to guarantee conflict-free functioning of the E-Customs;
- Creation of an optimal structure of content of electronic systems designed to prepare decisions (orders) and giving legal significance to this content; this is a prerequisite for the regulatory bodies to be sure that they make the most objective decisions regarding the goods (transport vehicles) treatment);
- Creation of the system of administration (including the interdepartmental one) of the processes occurring during the preparation and issuance of the decisions (orders) and control over their observance; it is a prerequisite of minimizing the time of customs clearance formalities (for foreign activity traders) and rationalization of the regulatory bodies’ actions;
Implementation of the above step actually means the achievement of the Single Window principle as a non-contact method of decision-making preparation.
- Establishing a system of operational performance of the solutions that require a certain physical treatment (examination, detention, restriction of movement and the like) of the goods (transportation vehicles); it is a prerequisite for preventing unauthorized access to the goods (transportation vehicles) concerning which there arises a need of direct physical intervention;
Implementation of this step corresponds to the attainment of the “single servicing body” (“single office”) as a way of implementing decisions.
- Organizational and technical content of the created system; this is a prerequisite for achieving the E-Customs functioning stability.
Visible manifestation of the E-Customs functioning is that goods (transportation vehicles), which actually constitute a single object for the customs authorities’ control, physically move being separated from the flow of information about them. That is, introduced is the circulation of two flows: goods-and-transport and information ones separated from one another in space and time.
The feature of commodity-and-transport flow circulation is that from time to time it is susceptible to physical intervention by the control bodies – inspection, detention, restriction of movement and the like. And as the interests of the trade transactions participants should also be taken into consideration such physical intervention should include the minimum of destructive methods. It is for this reason that the technical means of customs control will be increasing more and more as they enable most efficient monitoring with the minimal impact on the physical condition of the goods (transportation vehicles). That is for the customs service in particular the overall task of the goods (transportation vehicles) physical inspection selectivity is a double one – aimed at reducing the specific weight of inspections in the commodity-transport flows and at making qualitative changes in the nature of the examinations proper.
Summing up several results it is possible to outline the main challenges of the Customs Service activity in the near future aimed at the implementation of the E-Customs:
- creating a legal framework that consistently, continuously and definitely regulates the relations between traders and regulatory bodies throughout the route of the goods (transport vehicles) movement and information about them;
- modifying the structure of the UAIS information content to the state, which ensures the objectivity of decisions (orders) preparation at the customs authorities’ level; and
- streamlining the practice of customs control technical means application by means of imparting it the properties of consistency and predictability.
Under current conditions, it seems that the most rational way of ordering and gradual adjustment of the current legal practice, information technologies application experience and technical means of customs control.
“Stolichnyi Express” # 2/2010