Pavel Tonev met with the Deputy Minister of Trade of Turkey Riza Tuna Turagay

On 15.09.2021 the Director General of the National Customs Agency Pavel Tonev visited Istanbul on invitation of the Deputy Minister of Trade of the Republic of Turkey Riza Tuna Turagay. A major topic of the talks were the opportunities to facilitate the heavy-duty traffic through Kapitan Andreevo – Kapikule BCP and Lessovo-Hamzabeyli BCP as, besides. other customs matters in the area of bilateral cooperation were also discussed.  

The Director General of the National Customs Agency pointed out that for the first eight months of the year the number of trucks having passed in both directions through ‘Kapitan Andreevo’ BCP has increased with 27.5%, and through ‘Lessovo’ BCP – with 57.9% compared to the same period of 2020.

In view of the annually increasing volume of the freight transports at the two Bulgarian customs points, measures to increase the throughput capability were introduced – the organization of work was optimized, as trouble-free operation of information systems was secured too. By means of a structural reform the local administrative capacity was enhanced, including that of TD Bourgas Customs, in whose structure are the two major border points with Turkey. If necessary, Customs Investigation and Intelligence officers can be already relocated to the customs points, Pavel Tonev informed and added, that at the beginning of August 2021 at Lessovo CP the installation of seven (four at ‘Entry’ Lane and three at ‘Exit’ Lane) new axial car scales has been terminated and they are already functioning. At an advanced stage is also the preparation of a public procurement for the building of two specialized lanes for refrigerator trucks at ‘Kapitan Andreevo’ CP.  

The Deputy Minister of Trade, who is in charge of customs matters, Riza Tuna Turagay, underlined the importance of the export for the Turkish economy and pointed out that Turkey was seeking opportunities to accelerate the shipments and a greater priority was given more and more to the railway and sea transport. Up to the moment, approximately 30% of the Turkish еxport is by land transport, that is why measures are being sought to speed up the border crossings and reduce waiting times by construction of parking terminals.

Both managers expressed the view that speeding up of the border crossing facilitates the legal traders, but at the same time a high level of control should be maintained. The topic of control is a key one for both customs administrations due to which exchange of information for specific cases of illegal practices has been agreed upon.

Improving the cooperation under the Common Transit Convention was considered during the meeting too. The Bulgarian side raised the question for strict observation of the Convention texts in order to facilitate the persons responsible for transit. The timely performance of checks of documents, sent by the National Customs Agency, regarding doubts for undervaluation and verifications of proofs of origin was also discussed.  

It was decided to resume the regular bilateral operational meetings in the area of the fight against drug-trafficking.

The talks will continue at a next bilateral meeting, which will be hosted by the National Customs Agency.

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