New customs procedures improve well-being of citizens

By: Nigar Orujova

A simplification of customs control procedures will contribute to the improvement of socio-economic status of the population, Head of the State Customs Committee Aydin Aliyev said on October 28.

Azerbaijan facilitated custom procedures for individuals on October 22. Under the new presidential decree, anyone can bring goods for personal use worth up to $10,000 without paying custom duties.

The decree, which increased the value of imported goods by almost seven times, broadly simplifies customs control procedures.

“I want to emphasize that these simplifications relate only to those goods that are imported for personal use. We are not talking about goods imported for commercial or industrial purposes,” said Aliyev.

The head of the State Customs Committee said that tax and customs revenues contribute to Azerbaijan’s budget, and therefore goods imported into the country for commercial or industrial purposes will continue to stay under customs duties in accordance with existing legislation.

“It is too early to argue whether this decision [on the simplification of customs procedures] will have influence on the revenues to the state budget. More precise information will be available after arrangements for the application of the decree of the Azerbaijani President will be prepared and certain counts will be conducted,” he said.

The decree on simplification of the customs control procedures also stipulates that $2,000 is to be added to the allotted customs amount for each accompanied person under 18.

Previously, the amount was $1,500 and $500 respectively, which hindered people from travelling abroad to shop.

However, excisable goods, vehicles and necessary items for travel are exceptions and customs duties and taxes must be paid for them.

This decree, as a number of recent orders, will allow the government to get rid of unnecessary red tape, reduce the number of checks and improve the welfare of people. It may also develop competitiveness between those entrepreneurs who overvalue imported products.

In addition, checkpoints will be rid of congestion, taking into account that Azerbaijan has turned into a center of international activity and hosts a great number of forums, competitions and other events throughout the year.