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Belarus testing digital technologies to track customs transit

Economy 13.03.2019 | 17:53
Photos courtesy of the Belarusian customs service
Photos courtesy of the Belarusian customs service

BREST, 13 March (BelTA) – A system to track (monitor) international transit traffic using intelligent electronic locks was tested in the Belarusian border checkpoint Kozlovichi on 13 March, BelTA has learned.

Hard work is in progress in Belarus to create the national part of the united Eurasian Economic Union transit system. A pilot project was launched in Belarus in late February and will affect five major border checkpoints at the Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Ukrainian sections of the border. Representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission, customs services and national operators of Eurasian Economic Union member states, Belarusian government agencies went to the Kozlovichi checkpoint in order to get familiar with practical results of the pilot project.

The project intends to replace conventional security seals with digital ones. The latter are navigation devices able to work with all the satellite communication systems. Such a device can help track the vehicle's location in real time. The approach makes merchandise transportation transparent and safe. It rules out unauthorized access to cargo, the so-called false transit, contraband, and other corruption risks.

Russia and Kazakhstan performed a joint experiment last year to test the approach. Belarus is busy working to create its own segment of the future system, which will track transit cargoes in all the five Eurasian Economic Union member states in the future. “We are ready to start using digital seals on a large scale this year,” said Andrei Bolshakov, Head of the Central Office for Customs Control Organization of the State Customs Committee of Belarus.

The Belarusian customs service has already used over 100 digital seals. The pilot project is supposed to use a total of over 150 digital seals. The new technology will be rolled out step by step starting with certain groups of commodities. The possibility of using digital seals for trains and containers transported within the framework of the Silk Road project is under consideration.

“The road from China to Europe – the so-called Silk Road – is underused because merchandise transportation takes a long time. The shipments are stopped by customs officials, get unsealed and checked. Digital seals can reduce cargo processing time by 30-50%,” noted Nurlan Saterov, Deputy Director of the Space Technology Institute of Kazakhstan.

Experts believe that the united Eurasian Economic Union freight transit system using digital seals may be launched in 2020 at the earliest.

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