MINUTES # 16 РГ
Of Meeting of the Interagency Working Group for Implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology in Operations Area of Pivdenna Customs and Ports of Odessa Region
12 December 2014
Place: 11-g, Degtiarivska St.
The Meeting was called to order at 10: 00 a.m.
The Meeting was adjourned at 12: 00 p.m.
Those present: see Annex # 1
1. Information on the results of the Interagency Working Group work during 2011 - 2014:
Time: 10 minutes
Speaker: V. I. Voronoi,
Coordinator of the Expert Group,
Chief of the Strategic Development
Service, SE "ASPU"
Time: 10 minutes.
O. I. Platonov, Deputy Head of IWG,
President of “Ukrzovnishtrans” Association
2. About undertakings of Ukraine in the fields of international trade and transport that arise out of the WTO Treaty on trade promotion and Ukrainian-European Union Association Agreement.
Time: 10 minutes
Speaker: M. Apostolov,
Regional Adviser of UN ECE
Co-speaker: P. Hansen, Economist, UNCTAD
3. About reorganization of the Working Group for the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology Implementation and organizing a Working Group for the International Trade and Logistics Facilitation.
Time: 10 minutes.
Speaker: V. I. Schelkunov, Deputy Head of IWG, Adviser of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, President of ICC Ukraine
Co-speaker: O. I. Platonov, Deputy Head of IWG, President of “Ukrzovnishtrans” Association
The meeting was opened by V. I. Schelkunov, Deputy Head of the Interagency Working Group for Implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology, Adviser of the Prime Minister of Ukraine, President of the Ukrainian National Committee for International Trade (ICC Ukraine) who announced the agenda of the meeting, which was accepted unanimously.
The speaker informed the sitters about the results of a training seminar held for the Ministries and institutions top managers on “UNECE Recommendations Concerning the International Trade Facilitation and Preparation of Assessment of Ukraine Readiness for Implementation of the Measures of WTO Agreement on Trade Promotion” held on 11.12.2014 by the experts of UNECE and UNCTAD pursuant to decisions of the IWG meeting.
He suggested passing to the discussing agenda.
Concerning the first item on the agenda:
Information on the results of the Interagency Working Group work during 2011 – 2014
• Execution of the Project on implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology in Operations Area of Pivdenna Customs and Ports of Odessa Region;
• Execution by the involved ministries and institutions of decisions of the Interagency Working Group and corresponding orders of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine.
V. I. Voronoi informed that the work performed by the Administration of Sea Port of Ukraine complies with the “Plan of Further Implementation of the Port Community Information System (hereinafter referred to as “PCIS” at the sea ports of Ukraine in 2014-2015” approved by the Minister of Infrastructure on 07.04.2014.
As to the execution of the project on the implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology in Operations Area of Pivdenna Customs and Ports of Odessa Region, V. I. Voronoi stated the following:
· A module for the Smuggling Combatting Sub-Division, which enables the officials of the Odessa Customs, SFS, (the Authority for Risk Analysis and Counteraction against Customs Offenses) to control the containers entering the customs territory and fix the “marker” with assignment of the required forms of control (picked out of the exhaustive list), as well as exclude the possibility of “blocking the containers on the terminal” by the said customs officials without reason, was implemented in PCIS;
· A module, which permits no officials of the Odessa Customs, SFS, to open and process in PCIS more than two electronic orders simultaneously, was implemented in PCIS;
· A module intended for the Security Service of Ukraine was implemented in PCIS. Such module enables monitoring of containers clearance in the Odessa and Illichivsk Sea Ports;
· SE “АSPU” held a workshop at the Odessa Sea Port with participation of the Odessa Customs, SFS, concerning the step-by step transition from the parallel application by the Customs of the local software package “Electronic Logbook of Registration of Goods in Containers” (the so-called “Red Container”) to PCIS application. As a part of marine agents (lines) already begin to supply the preliminary information to PCIS, Head of SE “ASPU” requested the SFS representatives to give their consent to cancel the requirement to send such information to SFS of Ukraine directly (Annex # 2. Copy of the Letter);
· In order to comply with Item 1.7 of Decisions, IWG Minutes # 15 РГ, the Odessa Customs, SFS, organized a working group (comprised of the representatives of all government control bodies) for studying the goods release in the Port of Odessa.
Besides, V. I. Voronoi told about the project implementation by the Illichivsk Port and the Port of “Yuzhny”.
(Annex # 3. Explanatory Note on Implementation of “Single Window – Local Solution” Project in the Operations Area of Pivdenna Customs and Ports of Odessa Region).
In order to ensure the further development the speaker called to return to consideration of the previously prepared drafts of the necessary changes to the regulatory acts aimed at facilitation of customs clearance procedures, which have been discussed during recent years, but has not been implemented due to a long process of transforming the State Customs Service into Mindokhodiv and now into SFS of Ukraine.
S. M. Siomka gave a positive assessment to the project implementation outcomes and stressed that to conclude 546 agreements of cooperation in the field of information between SE “ASPU” and entrepreneurs is a considerable achievement.
He emphasized that the chosen way of the project implementation is useful in spite of the project past and present criticism.
He underlined that the customs procedures simplification means that the customs authorities control what they have to control, and not what they want to control, using the simple principle of risk profiling – the more information arrives and the sooner it comes the easier it will be to define the product, which is at risk, and to determine the cargo or container to be controlled.
He advanced an opinion that the platform for the control procedures information provision at the sea ports, which has already been implemented and is being improved, is univocally supported by the customs component of the State Fiscal Service.
And stressed that this means to him the achievement of several objectives, namely: maximum reduction of subjectivity in decision making; maximum control over the functions and actions of the customs service officials in the clearance process, as PCIS records all actions of all officers participating in the clearance of goods; accented determination of the control objects by using a quality risk profiling system based on the complete and quality information base, which is enabled and provided to the custom service by PCIS.
The speaker confirmed the interest of the involved SFS departments, and their willingness to actively participate in the project implementation.
O. I. Platonov informed the meeting that based on the results of 2014 a report will be prepared to the Prime Minister of Ukraine concerning the implementation by the ministries and other central executive authorities of the orders related to the “Single Window – Local Solution” Project and decisions of the IWG meetings (Appendix # 4 - Register of the IWG Meetings Decisions Implementation).
The speaker reported that due to the financial crisis in the country currently the budget funds cannot be used for further implementation and development of the Project. In fact, the only possible variant is to develop the Project on the principle of self-sufficiency and, probably, with involvement of the technical and financial assistance from EU or other international donors.
O. I. Platonov noted that the decision to implement the “Single Window - Local Solution” Project at the local and not at the national level involving private investment was correct. Despite the doubts and various obstacles, there is now a substantial improvement in the clearance of goods at the ports of Odessa Region. This applies to both time and quality of the clearance procedures, makes it possible to remove the corruption component, and use the risk analysis system.
The speaker thanked the Customs departments of the State Fiscal Service and the Ministry of Infrastructure for their active work, and reported that Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Justice joined the IWG work.
At the same time he informed about the available remarks upon the Attorney General's Office and the Ministry of Internal Affairs concerning the complaints and appeals of the citizens: some of them are pending since August last year. He noted that in such cases proceedings should be opened (should the signs of a crime be identified), or they must be completed in due time. It is necessary to make timely assessment of the real criminal actions and negative publications in the media about the activities of PCIS at the Port of Odessa with the comments on the so-called “hybrid warfare” at the Port of Odessa, especially if a physical threat of unrest in the region existed at that time. These “critical publications” create provocative situations in the society, which may lead to destabilization. It is such actions, publications and appeals that should be assessed by SSU.
O. I. Platonov emphasized that one of the objectives of the international trade and logistics facilitation is creating transparent institutions and instruments for the state to be able to control the breaches of the customs or other legislation, e.g.: human trafficking, moving across the state border illegal weapons, drugs, spoiled or contaminated foodstuffs. Such tools have turned to be effective, and today they are working in practice.
O. I. Tertyshnyk made a proposal to initiate a letter referral to the Prosecutor General and attach the complaint and appeal to it, and said that a motivated response will be obtained in no time. The speaker suggested that perhaps this is connected with the adoption of new Law of Ukraine “On Prosecution” a part of whose transitional provisions have already taken effect, and the so-called “general supervision”, which has practically been eliminated, and that is why the function of control over compliance with the legislation lies directly on the state regulatory bodies whose representatives are present at this meeting.
At the same time the speaker expressed the view that the participants of the innovative process and among them those present at this meeting should take into account that the main tasks of the "Single Window" include preventing the illegal import of goods in Ukraine and combatting unfair interference of the transport process individual players.
According to Art. 19 of the Constitution of Ukraine the government agencies, local governments and their officials are obliged to act only on the basis, within the limits and in a manner prescribed by the Constitution and Law of Ukraine. Customs Code of Ukraine provides for liability for submission of customs documents containing false information including the latter on the weight of the goods.
Unfortunately, to date there is no any by-law (statute, instruction, procedure, etc.) that would regulate in detail the procedure for determining the weight of the goods by the customs. At the same time, the responsibility for such indicator is still on the customs authorities.
Earlier the compliance with overall dimensions and weight characteristics of vehicles at the motor vehicles checkpoints was assigned to the Service of International Road Transportation (SIRT) on the basis of explanatory letters issued by Ukrtransinspection. Now these functions are assigned to the customs.
O. I. Tertyshnyk invited the representative of SFS of Ukraine to provide information on the presence at the checkpoints (including those for the motor vehicles) of weighing devices.
And said that the appeals of the freight forwarding community contain to the public prosecution bodies expressed is a strong conviction that the customs authorities should apply weighing goods only during customs inspection. The reported expressed the view that all goods without exception must be weighed, but under a special procedure to be developed immediately. The results of such weighing should be available in the system (PCIS).
With regard to the preliminary information provided before the arrival of the goods to the port, he suggested that this information should be such that allows unique identification of the goods (name, net and gross weight, consignor, consignee, country of origin, etc.).
A question was raised as to order bills of lading, which in many cases include false information. The speaker also noticed that the so-called “service” bills of lading contain the information, which is significantly different from that specified in the customs declaration, when the latter is filed by the trade community for customs clearance.
The Project should be support by both the Government of the country and all executive authorities.
O. I. Tertyshnyk expressed the view that PCIS must have the information about all operations with the goods including the revoked or cancelled documents, and notes on all decisions concerning the goods customs clearance. In addition, the system itself must compare the information provided by the business entity at the time of the goods arrival in Ukraine with the information filled in the customs declaration during customs clearance: this will give a real opportunity to the supervisory authorities to analyse risks and to protect population from dangerous or hazardous goods and prevent their uncontrolled import in Ukraine.
It was suggested to apply the above mentioned measures as soon as possible.
1.2. Prepare a message to the Prosecution General of Ukraine concerning the need of inspection and legal assessment of reliability of information about activities of the executive authorities and Interagency Working Group for Implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology stated in the publications and interviews of mass media with individual representatives of “’NO’ to Corruption on the Transport” and in their filed complaints.
Responsible body: IWG Secretariat
1.3. Organise a study of time spent on the goods release in accordance with the methodology of the World Trade Organisation with participation of representatives of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine, SE “ASPU”, business and trade associations, and public councils.
Responsible bodies: SFS, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Agricultural Policy and Food, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Ministry of Health, and Administration of the State Border Service
Concerning the second item of the agenda:
About undertakings of Ukraine in the fields of international trade and transport that arise out of the WTO Treaty on trade promotion and Ukrainian-European Union Association Agreement.
In the context of Ukraine's commitments in the areas of international trade and transport arising out of the WTO Agreement, M. Apostolov informed, the facilitation of international trade procedures has gained great importance after the adoption in November 2014 of the Protocol of WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, and this Agreement is seen as an important tool for countries development, which is very urgent for Ukraine.
The reporter informed the meeting that at the training workshop “UN ECE Recommendations on Trade Facilitation and Evaluation of Ukraine Readiness for the Implementation of the WTO Agreement Trade Facilitation Measures” held on 11.12.2014 the participants talked about the need to prepare and carry out a study on the Ukraine readiness for application of the measures of the said Agreement implementation.
He advised that, subject to the proper training, early next year Advisor of UNECE will begin to make up a report for the Government of Ukraine concerning the surveys as to the readiness of the ministries and agencies for the implementation of the measures referred to in the Agreement (including those, which were already notified by Ukraine as Category A ones) and determination those as to which Ukraine needs help. The speaker urged the ministries and agencies to promote the appropriate surveys.
The meeting was also reminded about one of the obligations under the Agreement (Art. 23.2), i.e. creation of a national authority for trade facilitation.
It was emphasized that it is possible to use the potential and experience of the existing Interagency Working Group for creation (through the said Group reorganization) of the body, which would be focused on specific projects with concrete results. Such a body should simultaneously be connected with the whole spectrum of trade facilitation issues and obligations provided by the provisions of the Agreement (mandatory item!); it should promote the implementation of trade facilitation measures and, simultaneously, participate in the monitoring aimed at the implemented measures compliance with the terms of the Agreement.
P. Hansen pointed out that the trade facilitation measures will affect the activities of all ministries and agencies involved in the control of export, import and transit of goods. The interaction between regulatory authorities, public and private organizations is critically important
It was stressed that trade facilitation aims not at control reduction, but at its improvement, which requires certain investment.
The meeting was informed that Ukraine has already filed a notification with WTO about preparedness for the implementation of eight out of the thirty eight obligations under WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation.
In conclusion, P. Hansen, based on the results of the training workshop, gave the following recommendations:
1. The Agreement specified legal requirement as to the establishment of a national committee on trade facilitation. This may be a new committee or an existing one that will get additional powers to monitor the implementation of the Agreement in Ukraine, assist in implementing the Agreement and report to WTO on the state of implementation. It should be decide whether to create a new committee in Ukraine or to use the existing Interagency Working Group (IWG). If the decision will be to use IWG as the national authority on trade facilitation, it will be required to review its regulations (the competencies) and supplement them with provisions covering all activities and obligations of the WTO Agreement. Such committee should be set up in less than two years.
2. It is necessary to do a research on Ukraine's readiness to fulfil all the thirty-eight obligations under the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation. Each ministry or agency should be appropriately and relevantly assessed.
UNECE and UNCTAD have developed an evaluation methodology that can be used in Ukraine:
· Conducting an introductory seminar (which was held on 11.12.2014);
· Within two to three months – carrying out a study using questionnaires (each ministry has to set the time to meet with the consultant involved in the study in order to determine which obligations relate to which ministries or authorities, and what should be done, if they are not ready for performance of certain obligations;
3. It is important to follow all timelines and deadlines filing with WTO the notifications referred to in the Agreement.
4. It is required to prepare a logical plan for implementing the obligations, which should demonstrate what needs to be done by each ministry or authority; then what should be done at the national level to match the Agreement; and a recommendation concerning the inclusion of financial requirements for each ministry or authority for further inclusion in the budget. The implementation of the Agreement in the country begins, and the national committee advises the Government on the status of the obligations implementation.
5. After application of the measures, they have to be maintained. A person responsible for support of the measures/obligations must be appointed by each ministry or authority.
6. It is required to carry out training at the ministries, authorities and trade organizations.
7. It is very important that the Agreement is properly implemented.
In the context of Ukraine's commitments in the transport sector arising from the Association Agreement with EU K. A. Savchenko informed the meeting about the recent order of the Cabinet of Ministers regarding the planning of the Ministry of Infrastructure activities respecting the implementation of the specified directives and regulations that accelerate the European integration processes in different directions chosen by Ukraine. The planning involves various departments of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Interagency Working Group for Transport Policy.
He addressed a request to the IWG participants and to the Secretariat of IWG to make proposals concerning the work plan for 2015 for their inclusion in the official plan that will be approved by the Government. The draft plan can also include tasks for the allied ministries.
O. I. Platonov proposed to hold the 5th UN ECE International Workshop on trade and logistics facilitation in June 2015 in Ukraine, during which it is advisable to decide on further steps concerning the creation of a national body and implementation of the WTO Agreement.
Responsible body: IWG Secretariat
Deadline: 2nd quarter 2015
Responsible persons: IWG members
2.4. Make arrangements for the 5th UN ECE International Seminar on International trade and logistics facilitation under the auspices of the Government of Ukraine on 2 June 2015 in Odessa, Ukraine.
Responsible body: IWG Secretariat and UN ECE
Concerning the third item of agenda:
About organization of the Interagency Working Group for the International Trade and Logistics Facilitation.
V. I. Schelkunov informed the meeting that due to the structural changes in the Government the draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On Establishment of the Interagency Working Group for International Trade and Logistics Facilitation” developed by a group of experts, which was previously presented to the IWG members, will be re-directed to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. And the new group will have a new status before the formation of a national body for developing and implementing a national strategy of international trade and logistics facilitation in Ukraine.
O. I. Platonov said that after the approval of the new Interagency Working Group it will, pending two years, be working on creation of a national authority for trade and logistics facilitation in accordance with the recommendations of UN ECE and the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation, which should engage both the public authorities and representatives of business organizations.
He proposed to approve Deputy Head of the State Fiscal Service A. V. Makarenko as Head of the existing Interagency Working Group (previously P. V. Pashko was Acting Head of IWG).
3.1. Take note of the Speaker’s information.
3.2. Continue the work on reorganization of the Interagency Working Group for Implementation of the “Single Window – Local Solution” Technology into the Interagency Working Group for International Trade and Logistics Facilitation.
3.3. Address a request to the Prime Minister of Ukraine to transfer IWG to a new, higher level of representation and set as its main objectives the development and implementation of the national strategy of trade facilitation, and establishment of the national authority for the international trade and logistics facilitation.
Responsible body: IWG Secretariat
3.4. Approve A. V. Makarenko, Deputy Head of the State Fiscal Service, as Head of the existing Interagency Working Group.
Chairman V. I. Schelkunov