Ban on Russian and Belarusian agricultural products could increase risk of fraud - State Revenue Service

  • 2024-02-26
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The ban on Russian and Belarusian agricultural products will increase the risk of fraud on the part of some traders, both when indicating the country of origin of agricultural products and the supply chains, representatives of the Customs Administration of the State Revenue Service (VID) told LETA.

The officials of the customs administration are constantly carrying out customs controls at the external border, including to identify goods subject to bans, sanctions or other restrictions, but amendments to the Law on Agriculture and Rural Development adopted last week will expand the range of goods whose import into Latvia will be banned, the VID said.

Customs controls are based on risk analysis using electronic data processing tools to identify and assess risks and develop the necessary countermeasures. By prohibiting the clearance of import customs procedures for free circulation, import for processing and end-use, certain Russian and Belarusian agricultural and food products will not be accepted for clearance in the customs information system, explained the VID.

The VID Customs Administration added that other customs procedures will not be affected by the ban, for example, the clearance of transit customs procedures from the external border to cargo terminals in Latvia or other European Union (EU) Member States will be allowed.

The VID also noted that, in view of the increased risk of fraud, the exceptions provided for in the amendments will be subject to enhanced controls to ensure that the customs procedure is used appropriately, which will necessarily require additional resources.

As reported, Saeima on February 22 supported in the final reading a bill banning imports of Russian and Belarusian grain and other agricultural products in Latvia.

The bill, drafted by several ministries, will ban imports of agricultural products and fodder into Latvia from Russia and Belarus, including via third countries.

The bill will come into force once promulgated by President Edgars Rinkevics.

The bill stipulates that the ban will be in force until July 1, 2025 and will be extended in the future if necessary.