TV “Formula” spreads misinformation about Finance Ministry’s revenue service

Georgia: The Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance responds to another misinformation expressed in a story prepared by the TV “Formula”, about Georgia’s implementation of international sanctions.

The TV said that the British media channel Sky News published a detailed study of the country’s customs statistics, according to which military goods/techniques are included in the Russian Federation despite sanctions, and that Georgia seems to be named among the transit countries in the study. 

In addition, according to Formula TV, the study also described a specific scheme reaching, including, through our country, dual-purpose products to Russia – which we categorically declare is total lies and false propaganda.

It should be noted that in the story prepared by Sky News itself, Georgia was mentioned in general, as a state with a land border with Russia, and unlike other post-Soviet countries, the study did not mention any facts about what kind and quantity of goods were exported from Great Britain to Georgia. It is a pity that neither Sky News nor Georgian media, in the process of preparing the report, contacted the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance to verify specific facts and request official statistics.

After receiving and disseminating official statistics, the public would have learned that according to the data for 2023, the import rate of high-risk priority goods (which may be used for military purposes) from the UK to Georgia is only 1% of total imports and decreased by 40% since international sanctions were imposed.

In addition, the import of these goods before and after the imposition of sanctions was carried out directly in Georgia for use and subsequent export to the sanctioned countries.

Once again, they state that Georgia fully and firmly follows international sanctions enforcement procedures and there is no evidence to the contrary. From the first days of imposing international sanctions, a relevant working group has been created in the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia, which implements strict control of these sanctioned goods.

One example of effective enforcement of sanctions and preventive measures is the return of goods sanctioned by the Revenue Service Customs, of which 29 of the exporter or country of origin was the United Kingdom.

The Revenue Service urges local and international media outlets to direct from official sources when disseminating information on sanctions enforcement and in case there are additional questions regarding the mentioned regulations, please contact the Sanctions Enforcement Agency – the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance for clarification.

The Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia is responding to the dissemination of misinformation by the TV company “Formula” on February 22 regarding Georgia’s compliance with international sanctions.

Allegations surfaced in a report suggesting that Sky News had conducted a detailed examination of customs data, insinuating the illicit flow of military equipment from Georgia to Russia despite sanctions. Furthermore, as stated by the “Formula” television company, the study outlined a particular scheme detailing the transit of dual-purpose products into Russia via our country. We vehemently assert that this claim is entirely false and amounts to propaganda.

While Georgia was mentioned in passing by Sky News as a country sharing a border with Russia, the specifics regarding the nature and volume of goods imported from Great Britain were notably absent, diverging from other post-Soviet nations.

Official figures would reveal that, as of 2023, a mere 1% of high-risk-weighted priority goods imported from Great Britain to Georgia that could be used for military purposes, decreased by 40% following the implementation of sanctions. Importation of the referred goods was strictly for internal use within Georgia and did not involve re-export to sanctioned destinations.

Georgia remains resolute in its unwavering commitment to upholding international sanctions without exception. To this end, a dedicated working group within the Revenue Service has been tasked with vigilant oversight of sanctioned goods.

Notable examples of effective enforcement include the interception and return of goods flagged by the Customs Department of the Revenue Service, with 29 instances involving Great Britain as the originating country or sender.

They implore both domestic and international media outlets to source information from official channels when reporting on matters about sanctions enforcement. For any further inquiries, the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance stands ready to provide clarification.


Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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