By. Bondo Sopromadze

Customs acquires an increasing role in the economic development of our country and in the strengthening of relations with foreign countries. Customs contributes a lot to the external and domestic development of trade.

The foreign economic relations and growth of budget revenues largely depends on the purposeful control of Customs multilateral activities. As a rule, control of any activities implies different levels of responsibilities. During the estimation of Customs, great significance is attached to the extent of its foundation on legal and normative basis or legal and institutional sources of Customs.
As a matter of fact, Customs is directly connected with foreign trade relations . That is why during the process of controlling its activities Customs must be based on international economic agreements, contracts and conventions such as: provisions of world trade and customs organizations., international convention about the inventory of goods and the harmonious system of coding, etc.
The role of world trade organizations in the control of Customs activities has especially grown after Georgia has joined these organizations in 1993. This phenomenon is completely new in the economic life of the country so there are different opinions to this effect. In view of it, we think it necessary to focus special attention on its specific peculiarities. World Trade Organization (WTO) has started functioning since 1 January 1995. It is a modified form of general agreement about tariffs and trade that functioned in post-Soviet period.
Under the principles of WTO member-countries, non-protection of equal rights in trade relations is not permitted. Along with the above-mentioned, WTO has other positive features that are especially obvious in countries of developed economy where foreign trade balance is noted for assets or excess of export over import. True, the Georgian foreign trade balance still leaves much to be desired. Yet it does not indicate at the groundlessness of our country’s membership in WTO. On the contrary, the measure will enable Georgia to acquire great experience and knowledge of effective market activities; it will promote the participation of Georgia in international economic relations and quick settlement of any disputes with the maximum consideration of parties’ interests. Proceeding from the above-mentioned, we must not be mistaken in thinking that membership of Georgia in WTO will increase the import of harmful goods and hamper the development of home industry. WTO defends interests of its members and promotes the maximum mobilization of internal resources for export development.
Interstate agreement or the so-called international Convention about the “characteristics” of commodity and harmonious system of coding, plays a significant role in regulating multilateral Customs activities.
As far as we know, the principal object of Customs control is commodity. Customs operation with goods are often inefficient due to the fact that many Customs co-workers lack knowledge of the content and demand of the harmonious system of transportable commodity inventory and encoding in the Customs House. International Convention about commodity inventory and encoding has been in force since 1988. Nowadays, half of the world companies have joined this agreement. Given the fact that employees in Customs Control Service do not show appropriate knowledge and experience in the “reading” of commodity, in this work we consider it necessary to focus our attention on this problem. Moreover, there is still no necessary information in Georgian economic literature
Commodity code in Customs House is one and the same for all member-countries of international Conference. The code does not provide all necessary information about Custom commodities: each figure in the code has its own meaning. The encoding system approved by the above-mentioned Conference envisages for six figures. In any case, its quantity is subject to change: it can reduce to four or grow to nine figures. The first two figures in the encoding system indicate at its belonging to this or that branch, the next one or two figures show the sort and processing level of the given goods (semifinished and finished goods), the rest figures give details of the goods.
In developing countries reduction of commodity code figures is permitted, which serves to decode goods and describe them in detail. As mentioned above, the code includes maximally 8 or 9 figures. To be more exact, according to the CIS countries, the code length makes up 8 or 9 digital units. We would like to point out to the fact that the first six figures in all kinds of codes are of international significance and are not subject to change.
It is clear that harmonious system of commodity encoding quickens its statistic inventory, classification, connection to computer system, increases the efficiency of regulation mechanisms of tax system.
Institutional sources are widely used in the Customs commodity control apart from formal ones, i.e. along with appropriate legislative acts and requirements of International Convention. The notion “Institutional sources” is quite widespread in the sphere of Customs activities and international commodity transportation. It implies state executive, legislative and administrative organs that interfere with the work of Customs organs and regulate them in accordance with state interests. We should lay stress on the negative effect of excessive initiative of the mentioned organs on the activities of Customs organs.
The influence of state establishments on Customs organs is especially noticeable when it comes to the get-up of goods in Customs border: inspection and arrest of contraband goods, licensing of goods, quantitative limitation of export-import, etc.
There are many means and ways of negative activities in the Customs so that it is rather difficult to minimize them without the good-will of employees in the Customs. Along with the measures of state authorities aimed at improving situation in this direction, we think that special attention should be attached to the selection and preparation of qualified people for the Customs service, to the increase of their professional level and, what is more important, to the increase of salaries.
Along with other state structures such professional organizations as Commerce Chamber make their own modest contribution to the activities of custom-house. In order to improve cooperation with custom-house, we think that the customs must put the issue of study of actual issues of export-import conditions to the foreground. During the purchase and sale of goods, traditions, customs and trade peculiarities must also be considered in foreign market. It is necessary to focus attention on the peculiarities of base conditions of goods sale and purchase in foreign markets because during the get-up of goods these issues become evident, which can lead to conflicts. We should also accentuate the fact that many issues about base conditions and terms are detailed in the manual of International Commerce Chamber known under the name of “Incoterm-90”. Parties are obliged to obey the rules in this manual only provided that it is specified in the trade agreement
Thus, we think that the necessary condition for the control of commodity transportation at the border is correct completion and check of accompanying documents.