Kazakhstan’s New Customs Code

The Code ‘On Customs Regulation in the Republic of Kazakhstan’ (the ‘Code’) came into force on 1 January 2018. Given the Code mainly aims to comply with the Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union (the ‘EEU Code’), the Code implemented most of the EEU Code’s provisions. Such provisions particularly concern the automation of customs processes, e-declaration, automatic release of goods and others. It is assumed that most of the novelties set forth in the Code seek to speed up and optimize customs procedures.

In this review, we specifically would like to draw your attention to the five main novelties of the Code.

1. E-declaring as a Priority

Kazakhstan’s previous Customs Code, dated 30 June 2010, provided for customs declaration in written and electronic forms. A written declaration was a priority, and the procedure for submission and use of e-declaration was determined by the decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission (the ‘Commission’).

The Code defines e-declaration as a priority form and allows the written form of declaration only in the following cases:

1) In respect of goods for personal use;

2) In respect of goods sent in international postal items;

3) In respect of vehicles of international carriage;

4) Placing goods under a customs transit procedure;

5) Using transport (shipment), commercial and other documents, including those stipulated by international treaties of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a customs declaration; and

6) In other cases determined by the Commission.

2. Information Exchange

Chapter 50 of the Code deals with the issues of information exchange between customs authorities as well as with authorized state bodies and organizations of Kazakhstan. Instead of requesting the documents from the declarant, information exchange allows them to be obtained from information systems of state authorities, further allowing the automatic release of goods.

3. Opportunities for Investors

Goods imported as part of investment projects may be declared for release before filing the goods declaration. This can be in accordance with the customs procedures, such as customs territory, free customs zone, free warehouse, temporary import (admission) without payment of customs duties and taxes and other customs procedures as determined by the Commission.

4. Preliminary Information

The Code improved the process of providing the preliminary information, which sought to accelerate customs operations and optimize customs control.

The Code clarifies the list of information subject to mandatory submission, methods, language of provision, expiry date, statutory requirements for registration of preliminary information, cases of refusal to register preliminary information and other requirements.

The goods arriving in the customs territory of the EEU absent mandatory preliminary information, or with violation of the deadline for its submission, as well as persons who failed to provide such preliminary information within established timelines, will be listed in the category of high-risk level of violation of the customs legislation.

Preliminary information may not be provided in relation to:

• Goods for personal use transported by individuals across the customs border of the EEU;

• Goods sent in international mail;

• Goods transported across the customs border of the EEU by certain categories of persons (diplomatic representatives);

• Goods for liquidation of consequences of natural disasters and emergencies;

• Military cargoes, the status of which is confirmed by a military pass issued in accordance with Kazakhstani laws;

• Goods that fall under special customs procedures at the place of arrival;

• Goods of the EEU transported through the territory of non-members of the EEU;

• Goods transported across the customs border of the EEU and imported into the territory of the special economic zone within the customs border of the EEU;

• Goods transported by pipelines or through power transmission lines.

5. Authorized Economic Operator

The Code has extended special simplifications for economic operators. Special simplifications provide for a special performance of certain customs operations and customs control depending on the type of certificate of the authorized economic operator. The Code provides for three types of certificates: I, II and III. Article 536 of the Code details all types of special simplifications for each type of certificate.

The Code has also supplemented conditions for the inclusion of legal entities in the register of operators; the list of grounds for suspension, renewal and exclusion of legal entities from the register of operators have been expanded; exact performance guarantee amounts for the operator’s duties for each type of certificates were defined.