“Georgia exercises strict control over movement of sanctioned cargo”: FM Khutsishvili

Tbilisi: With the approval of the lists of sanctioned goods and persons, the Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia began strict control of the movement of sanctioned cargo in the customs territory of the country,” Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said at an event dedicated to the International Customs Day.

It is noteworthy that in the Minister’s speech, significant attention was paid to the steps taken by Georgia towards the enforcement of international sanctions.

As he noted, since the very first days of the imposition of international sanctions, the Customs Risk Management Office of the Revenue Service has established a working group to implement centralized control of the enforcement of said sanctions.

“During the mentioned period, 14 risk profiles were created, based on which it will be promptly identified and controlled, both sanctioned individuals and companies, the movement of prohibited goods to the customs territory of Georgia, as well as the transit, export and re-export procedures.” 

In addition, at the customs clearance point “Kazbegi”, additionally appropriate equipment for customs control, including X-ray-scanners, were placed. Also, the capabilities of other launching points have been strengthened to implement proper controls on sanctioned cargo.

 “Since the very first days of the imposition of sanctions, several communications have been made with our strategic partners about the technical assistance needed for the proper administration of international sanctions,” Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili said.

He thanked the partners for their support to the country in this regard.

As he noted, with the assistance of the U.S. Embassy’s export control and related border security program, E.U. Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX), several remote and physical meetings were organized, with the involvement of relevant government bodies of Georgia, the banking sector and the Customs Department of the Revenue Service.

“Inland Revenue Service subordinated to the Ministry of Finance of Georgia has enforced a tight control over the inbound and outbound movement of sanctioned cargo through customs of the country upon the release of a Sanctioned Goods and Entity List” stated H.E. Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia in his keynote speech delivered at the International Customs Day marked on January 26.

It is worth noting that a profound focus was made in the address of the Minister on the measures taken by Georgia towards enforcing the international sanctions.

As noted by the Minister, the Risk Management Division within the Customs Department of the Inland Revenue Service of Georgia has been running a dedicated Task Force since the imposition of international sanctions, and it is mandated to carry out centralized control over the enforcement of the referred bans throughout the country.

‘Within this period, 14 risk profiles have been built into the designated module to identify and control the individuals, corporations, inbound and outbound goods and movement thereof in the most efficient manner. 

The digital risk management tool also tracks transit, export and re-export. In addition, designated equipment – including X-Ray Scanners – has been installed at Kazbegi Customs CheckPoint to enforce customs control. 

Other customs checkpoints have been replenished with essential equipment as well to upscale their capacity and to enable the required degree of control. Multiple communication sessions have been held with our strategic partners on the required technical assistance for the adequate administration of international sanctions from the imposition of the sanctions,” noted H.E. Lasha Khutsishvili, Minister of Finance of Georgia.

He expressed gratitude to his partners for the support demonstrated to the country towards this end.

As he also noted, the Export Control and Border Security Program of the U.S. Embassy, along with a Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument of the European Commission (TAIEX), have been vital in organizing a number of online and in-person meetings between the relevant government agencies of the country, banking sector and Customs Department of the Inland Revenue Service of Georgia.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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