On February 17, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a meeting to reform the customs and transform them into a corruption-free sphere.
The customs system is a vital link between the domestic and global economies. If this system does not work properly and transparently, it will only hinder entrepreneurship and investment.
Therefore, the reform of customs administration and procedures began in 2019. In particular, the corridors of simplified control are organized at customs posts. Today, 95% of passengers and 75% of cargo pass through them. Currently, 60 types of permits, which were previously issued by 12 different agencies, are provided electronically through a one-stop shop. As a result, the time of customs clearance was reduced to 10 times.
The Development Strategy for 2022-2026 sets the goal of bringing the volume of exports to $30 billion and the number of foreign tourists to 7 million. This places a special responsibility on the customs authorities.
In this regard, the meeting focused on the development of the customs system, improving conditions at the posts.
«The customs posts are our country’s image, it is the here that the first impression is shaped. The convenient conditions for the population and entrepreneurs must be provided here», Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
The instructions were given on improving of the infrastructure of border customs posts, cultivating the territory adjacent to them, reconstructing of some posts and resurfacing of the roads leading to them.
The President has highlighted that the transformation of the customs system into a corruption-free sphere is a priority, and the customs authorities must serve as an example for other state agencies.
In order to implement these measures, a modern compliance control system will be adopted. From May 1 this year, the cargo declaration will be remotely processed outside the posts without a direct contact with an entrepreneur. From July 1, the automated detection of corruption risks will be established to determine codes and costs, customs inspection, preferential declaration of goods. From September 1, all electronic customs services will be provided through a one-stop shop.
By the end of the year, an electronic system will have been launched and it will regulate all customs clearance processes.
The State Customs Committee, the Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications and the Ministry of Finance have been entrusted with the task to digitalize all customs services.
The instructions were also given in terms of the selection of job candidates based on an open competition, the rotation of employees, and the declaration of their income and property.
It was noted at the meeting that in order to prevent corruption, a special attention should be paid to the financial support and social protection of employees. Thus, depending on the results of their work, the customs officers will be paid a wage supplement and allowances for service at remote and overloaded posts.
The staff members will be paid bonuses for the detection of contraband or other offences. The special ranks allowances will be increased.
A particular attention will be paid to the social security of employees. Thus, administrative housing will be built for employees who serve at distant posts and the employees in need of housing will be provided with preferential mortgages. An enrollment quota will be established for customs officers and their children.
The President has emphasized the importance of increasing the proportion of women among the staff of the service.
During the meeting, the anti-smuggling results were also analyzed. In particular, over the past period of this year, the illegal imports of 364 kilograms of narcotic drugs, 88,000 units of psychotropic drugs and goods worth 181 billion Uzbek soums has been prevented.
To expand the opportunities in this direction, the task is to equip customs posts with modern equipment, such as 3D scanners, X-ray machines, video surveillance equipment, servers and transport scales.
This year at the international airports of Samarkand, Tashkent, Fergana and Termez, and from next year at all airports of our country the system of «control without a customs officer» will be introduced.
The main attention is paid to the staff training and skills development. The need for a radical transformation of the Customs Institute with the advanced teaching of foreign languages, information technology, metrology and standards was indicated. The instructions were given on staff skills development jointly with the World Customs Organization, study and implementation of international best practices.