Customs procedures in the implementation of post-entry audit


Petrunya Y. , Turzhanskyi V.

The article shows the approaches to the nature of customs procedures in the national legislation, taking into account the provisions of the customs legislation of the European Union and other legal acts of the World Customs Organization. Today it is necessary to implement the EU experience in Ukraine in order to improve the system of customs control and provide a unified coherent mechanism of interaction between customs, tax and other regulatory agencies and economic operators. This issue is especially urgent when developing and implementing qualitative management decisions of the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine during planning, organization and implementation of customs control of foreign trade transactions, and in particular such form as post-clearance audit. 
It is recognized that there is no single approach in the national legislation to the interpretation of the category «customs procedure». Customs procedure means a body of rules determining conditions and procedure for disposal of goods in the customs territory of the country and beyond its borders, or a form of customs control. 
It should be noted that categories «customs regime» and «customs procedure» are equal in international acts. Here one can mention the French root of the word «regime» which in the original means order of something. For example, similar definitions can be found in the Glossary of Customs Terms, published by the WCO, which as a synonym for the English term «customs procedure» gives the French one «rugime douanier» that refers to «the regime used by Customs to the goods as objects of customs control». It is possible to make a conclusion on the identification of «customs regime» and «customs procedure» categories having analyzed the contents of the International Convention on Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures where the terms «procedure» and «rugime» are used as synonyms even in the names of copies in English and French. 
Taking into consideration the European experience and inconsistencies of national legislation, we suggest cancelling the term «customs regime» and replacing it with the term «customs procedure» with the corresponding changes to the Customs Code of Ukraine and other regulatory and legal acts on the state customs affairs. Hereby the term «customs procedure» means a system of consistent actions of the subjects of customs relationships (concerning Customs clearance and customs control), the content and sequence of which depends on the declared purpose of movement of goods and vehicles across the customs border of Ukraine. 
Considering customs procedures as a form of customs control we focus the attention on documentary checks of compliance with the law of Ukraine on the state customs affairs, which in practice is called «post-clearance audit». It should be noted that there is no single definition of «post-clearance audit» in foreign literature and the following terms exist: «post-customs audit», «post-customs control», «post-clearance audit», «post-clearance control», «post-entry audit». However, despite the variety of categorial definitions, the essence of all concepts is the interpretation of post-clearance audit as minimization of «passing» procedures and performance of customs control by means of further in-depth documentary checks of foreign economic activity after the fact of customs clearance of goods and vehicles. The Customs Code of Ukraine stipulates that authorized officials are allowed to conduct remote, on-site scheduled and unscheduled documentary audits of enterprises. During on-site scheduled and unscheduled documentary audits counter-checks can be conducted to clarify the issues of the audit. 
The formation of the system of post-clearance audit in Ukraine has begun and gradually is being improved. The regulations governing the process of organizing, conducting and presenting the results of documentary checks on the compliance with the law of Ukraine on the state customs affairs have been developed and are being implemented into practice. 
The post-clearance audit of foreign economic activity is a complex and continued process. And the quality and efficiency of customs procedures for carrying out documentary checks on compliance with the law of Ukraine on the state customs affairs depend on the fact how it is legally regulated and methodically secured.