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Belarus' Customs explains tougher border control

06.10.2020

Due to the complicated epidemic situation and climbing coronavirus infection rates in a number of countries Belarus' Customs will continue taking preventive measures at the border in order to prevent the infection from reaching the country, BelTA learned from Chairman of the State Customs Committee of Belarus Yuri Senko.

The official commented on mass media reports about the Belarusian customs service allegedly cracking down on merchandise import by individuals. “The customs service fulfils all the sanitary norms a pandemic requires. Including in order to prevent the transportation of goods that can somehow influence the safety of people,” Yuri Senko explained. This is why the rules that allow natural persons to transport goods across the border that only they will use are in effect. “If they are intended for commerce, then we need the owner to pay the customs duty or the citizen can return with the goods or the goods can be put in storage. It is up to the citizens,” the official clarified. “Tougher rules have been enforced in many countries. For instance, you cannot import one sandwich into the European Union, they will force you to throw it away into a special container. So, every country protects its import, safety, and order. It is a mandatory condition.”

According to Yuri Senko, the restrictions primarily apply to food. “The goods on which various diseases and infections can be transported. Because not every piece of merchandise is disinfected at the border,” he noted.

The practice of monitoring the transportation of merchandise and the movement of heavy trucks using navigation devices (seals) continues in Belarus. The new practice makes drivers more disciplined. In the past the customs service detected over 30 various violations committed by truck drivers per day. The number does not exceed one per day after digital navigation devices (seals) were introduced.

Belarus' Customs expanded the use of these devices in August 2020. They are now used as an alternative to customs escort for expensive cargoes among other things. It allows reducing the relevant costs of shipping companies by ten times on the average. A customs escort to the Belarusian-Russian border costs about $300 while the use of a navigation seal costs as little as $30.

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