Finance Minister says Georgian customs returned sanctioned goods in over 1,020 decisions in 2022

  • Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili on Thursday told the Parliament over 1,020 decisions by customs authorities across the country had resulted in returns of sanctioned goods over the past year. Photo: Ministry of Finance

Agenda.ge, 23 Mar 2023 - 15:40, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgian Finance Minister Lasha Khutsishvili on Thursday told the Parliament over 1,020 decisions by customs authorities across the country had resulted in returns of sanctioned goods over the past year.

Presenting a report on his Ministry’s work at the lawmaking body, Khutsishvili also said 600 decisions had resulted in rejection of customs applications, with most of the items in questions representing household items.

He stressed the “effective” work of the country’s customs service meant “no cases of violation of the sanctions imposed against Russia [for its invasion of Ukraine] were recorded during the past year”.

Products included in lists defined by countries participating in the sanctions, as well as customs operations that can be carried out by sanctioned individuals or companies are “subject to special customs control in Georgia”, he told MPs.

He also said “from the very first days” of the imposition of the international sanctions, a working group had been created at the Customs Risk Management Division of the Customs Department of the Revenue Service to ensure centralised control of the enforcement of the sanctions.

The Minister explained 16 “risk profiles” had been created to identify and control traffic of goods through Georgia to and from sanctioned individuals and companies, in addition to transit, export and re-export procedures.

A “number of communications” were made with “strategic partners” of the country regarding technical assistance required for “proper administration” of international sanctions, he added, noting the country had been granted access to the international sanctions training platform DOLFIN, with two employees of the Customs Department obtaining certificates for the status of a sanctions enforcement expert.

While special permits are required for transportation of military and dual-purpose goods throughout Georgia, the permits have been suspended since the start of the hostilities in Ukraine, with “not a single permit issued” in the period since. 

Statistical data on Georgia's foreign trade is public information and fully available to “any interested party and to all partners”, he noted in his address to the Parliament.

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