ASTANA, 18 June 2012 – An OSCE-supported meeting on improving interaction between customs and businesses to facilitate international trade was held in Astana today.
The meeting of the Consultative Council of the Customs Committee of Kazakhstan, a body uniting public stakeholders, brought together some 130 participants from the Parliament, the Government, local companies and business associations. The meeting focused on recently introduced electronic online declarations for goods at border crossings, and the World Customs Organization’s Authorized Economic Operator Programme (AEO) in Kazakhstan, which aims to simplify customs procedures and significantly reduce non-tariff barriers to exports, imports and transit.
“The introduction of modern advance-notification online customs declarations and AEO customs procedures by Kazakhstan will help save time, minimize the overall costs of foreign trade operations and increase business opportunities for small and medium enterprises,” said OSCE Centre in Astana’s Economic and Environmental Officer Alexander Peytchev in the welcoming remarks. “OSCE fully supports this modernization, and through its field missions in Central Asia, including the Centre in Astana, encourages the continuation of this process at regional level.”
Mazhit Esenbayev, the Chair of Kazakhstan’s Customs Control Committee said: “This meeting is part of a national advocacy campaign ‘Customs - open dialogue with the business’. We believe that the ongoing modernization of the customs administration procedures and control, implemented in constant dialogue with the business community and civil society, will help eliminate corruption practices in customs clearance of goods”.
The event is part of the OSCE Centre activities in Kazakhstan focused on good governance at border crossings, the facilitation of the international trade, transport and transit, and support for small- and medium-sized enterprises.