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Abstract

The article considers the projects of customs digitalization in Russia and China known as Electronic Customs and Golden Customs. The first project has recently been developed, and the second has fully been implemented and is aimed at active expansion into the external environment. With a common goal-the creation of a single information space-approaches to the implementation of the two projects vary considerably. The current research is based on the "text-by-text" scheme, which implies a detailed description of the Chinese project and then the Russian one. In the chronological order, the development stages of the projects are analyzed and possible areas for cooperation and coordination are suggested. Further, the alternatives for joint Russian-Chinese projects to deepen cooperation in the customs field are introduced. The article also examines the contributions of the Russian and foreign researchers and legal and regulatory acts in the sphere of interstate coordination.
Implementation of the E-Customs Project in Russia
and the Golden Customs Project in China:
Opportunities for Cooperation and Coordination
Olga Karpova
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Region, Russia
Igor Mayburov
Ural Federal University
Ekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Region, Russia
Abstract-The article considers the projects of customs
digitalization in Russia and China known as Electronic
Customs and Golden Customs. The first project has recently
been developed, and the second has fully been implemented and
is aimed at active expansion into the external environment.
With a common goal - the creation of a single information space
- approaches to the implementation of the two projects vary
considerably. The current research is based on the
“text-by-text” scheme, which implies a detailed description of
the Chinese project and then the Russian one. In the
chronological order, the development stages of the projects are
analyzed and possible areas for cooperation and coordination
are suggested. Further, the alternatives for joint
Russian-Chinese projects to deepen cooperation in the customs
field are introduced. The article also examines the
contributions of the Russian and foreign researchers and legal
and regulatory acts in the sphere of interstate coordination.
Keywords-customs service, golden customs, electronic
customs, foreign economic activity, “One Belt, One Road”
I. INTRODUCTION
The article examines two projects of this kind (Electronic
Customs and Golden Customs), which are being
implemented on the territory of Russia and China,
respectively. Both projects are being introduced in the
customs authorities: in Russia - to simplify the process of
moving goods across the border, in China - to build a
socialist customs system with Chinese characteristics.
The research section of the article provides the
description of each system and then makes comparison on
the set of criteria. The aim is to offer tools to facilitate
cooperation and coordination of customs services in the two
countries. In the conclusion, the article sums up the data from
the comparative analysis and provides a timeline that clearly
demonstrates the differences in customs reform in Russia and
China. Also, it contains a number of proposals on the
possibility of a deeper interstate cooperation within the
electronic customs systems.
Both customs projects are particularly relevant in the
context of one of the most ambitious and large-scale
international projects “One Belt, One Road”. Building
effective international trading network is simply impossible
in the traditional “paper” format. Therefore, for the countries
participating in the project, it is particularly important to
introduce systems that can be mutually integrated and will
facilitate cargo movement across the borders. Russia is one
of the key members of the “One Belt, One Road” project,
which is the reason for the development of electronic
customs adapted not only for domestic but also for external
use.
II. ELABORATION OF THE PROBLEM
Prospects for Russia-China customs cooperation is an
increasingly popular matter under consideration for Russian
researchers. This is not surprising, since China accounts for
one of the largest trading volume indicators (18% in 2017).
For example, Atanov and Ayusheeva [1] arrived at the
conclusion that the foreign trade conditions in the border
areas of the two countries are asymmetrical. In China, the
activities of traders are actively stimulated by administrative
resources, while Russia has created only the minimum
necessary conditions. Lepa [2] considers the opportunities
for the development of new scopes in the interstate
cooperation (tourism, in particular) and indicates the
potential threat of the Chinese expansion into the outside
world (e.g., the uncontrolled migration of the Chinese
citizens).
The English sources specifically focus on the innovation
projects in China. Lovelock, Clark and Petrazzini [3] analyze
in detail the Golden projects and conclude that they are
successfully implemented, although the country has chosen a
different from European path in terms of the introduction of
digital technologies. Ure and Liang [4] put forward a thesis
that the Chinese government uses electronic technology to
both simplify coordination of businesses and authorities, and
consolidate the current socialist regime.
III. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
The research is based on the method of comparative
analysis and examines two approaches to implementation of
information technologies in public sectors. The approaches
are identified in the connection with the Golden Customs
project and the Electronic Customs project (the E-Customs
project), which demonstrate quite similar content
characteristics, but have some significant differences.
2nd International Conference on Education Science and Social Development (ESSD 2019)
Copyright © 2019, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 298
528
Accordingly, the above-mentioned projects in Russia and
China serve as objects of research.
The Russian and foreign publications, as well as legal and
regulatory documents of the two countries constituted the
information base for analysis; in particular, the customs code
of the customs union, the Customs Law on the customs
regulation of the People's Republic of China, and the
websites of Russian and Chinese customs.
The article is organized according to the “text-by-text”
scheme: first, it gives a detailed description of the Chinese
project, and then the Russian one. The final part presents a
time vector which assists in visualization of the consistency
of activities, the list of current innovations and the
availability of time lag, which should be taken into
consideration when developing integration activities. Also,
the variants of joint Russian-Chinese projects to deepen
cooperation in the customs sphere are shown.
IV. PROJECTS IMPLEMENTATION
A. Golden Customs Project in China
In fact, the market economy with Chinese characteristics
is a covert government control over the actions of all market
participants, from government organizations to street
vendors. To ensure this kind of penetration through
traditional method is quite challenging and, therefore,
innovative solutions like electronic technologies can come to
the rescue. The project was named the "E-Government" and
started in 1999, with the active participation of the largest
telecommunications company China Telecom and the
Economic Information Centre of the State Economic and
Trade Commission (SETC).
Previously, in 1993, the Central Government and the
former Ministry of Electronics Industry (now part of the
Ministry of Information Industry) launched the Golden
projects - a set of individual infrastructure initiatives aiming
at the development of information economy and
administrative capacity for the implementation of the global
system “E-Government”. The first three projects were
Golden Bridge, Golden Card and Golden Customs. Later, the
list was expanded significantly. The Vice-Premier Li
Lanqing initiated the Golden Customs project (GC) in June
1993. The project was focused on the development of an
integrated system of data transmission between foreign
trading companies, banks, as well as customs and tax bodies.
The system was supposed to speed up customs clearance and
improve the collection of taxes and duties. Also, it aimed at
shortening of customs clearance.
A large-scale reform of the customs system was launched
in 1994, and in 1998, the State Customs Administration
issued the Resolution on the Development of the Modern
Customs Regime, which set out the basic framework and the
two-step development strategy for the customs service. The
first stage of the electronic data tracking system identified the
episodes of smuggling worth about 80 billion Yuan (in 1999),
and the amount of the collected customs duties increased by
71 billion Yuan, compared with the same period before the
introduction of the system (1999 compared to 1998).
The first stage of development was completed by 2003.
To assist in the implementation of the second stage, the
Strategy for the Establishment of the Modern Customs
Regime (2004-2010) was adopted. The strategy involved the
creation of a new management mechanism, including the
system of risk analysis as an essential element. By 2010, the
creation of a modern customs regime, that meets the
objectives of the national policy and is adapted to the
well-developed socialist market economy, was planned to be
integrated into the international community. China Customs
faced a major challenge to shift away from traditional state
authority to the most progressive through the introduction of
advanced scientific technology. The authors of the strategy
were of the view that the use of information technology will
allow a balance between strict supervision, effective
operation and the honesty of customs officers. The risk
management system was implemented overall in 2004, and in
the first year of its operation there were revealed 5,820
episodes of smuggling and customs fraud in the amount of
6.4 billion Yuan, while the fine for customs evasion
amounted to 0.36 billion Yuan.
At the end of the second stage, the GC reached the point
of the so-called experimental exploitation and acceptance
process. It should be noted that over the next five years,
China Customs has become a leader in innovations in
workflows, when compared to other agencies. By 2016, there
had been implemented such major systems as the national
system of customs control, the credit management system for
enterprises engaged in import and export, the logistics
monitoring system, the mobile application for business, the
platform to support participants of foreign economic activity,
the “Electronic Port”, the customs intelligence system, and
the system of prevention and control of corruption risks. In
2017, the customs service of the Republic of China
announced a full transition to the “single window” system
that combines eleven departments. The following steps
assume a complete rejection of the printed form of
documents. It should be noted that the preliminary cargo
declaration is not stipulated.
The Chinese GC system is sufficiently convenient in
terms of electronic document flow and interchange between
the countries. Moreover, the participants of the “One Belt,
One Road” project will be dealing with it. Opportunities for
collaboration could be offered on the basis of comparison of
GC with the existing similar system in the partner country. In
particular, it will be interesting to examine Electronic
Customs, operating on the territory of Russia, the largest
country participating in the project “One Belt, One Road”.
B. E-Customs Project in Russia
The transition of the Russian public services to a digital
format began in 2002, with the approval of the federal target
program “Electronic Russia (2002-2010)”. The program
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 298
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anticipated creation of E-Government that would simplify
the process of interaction between the country, businesses
and citizens. However, by 2010, the effectiveness of the
implementation had been assessed as low, and, in fact, the
program had been considered a failure.
But at the end of 2010, the government approved a new
federal target program “Information Society (2011-2020)”
which consisted of six directions (subprograms): quality of
life of citizens and conditions for business development;
electronic state and effectiveness of public administration;
the Russian market of information and telecommunication
technologies; basic infrastructure of the information society;
security in the information society; digital content and
cultural heritage. The ministries and agencies were given the
programs for the development and road maps under the new
program that introduced the stages of implementation of new
information technologies.
In 2012, for the Federal Customs Service were adopted
the “Strategy of Development of the Customs Service of the
Russian Federation up to 2020”, the road map “Improvement
of Customs Administration” and the road map “Foreign
Market Access Support and Export Support”. At the federal
level, the principle of single provision of data was secured
and that significantly shortened the list of necessary
documents for the declarant when repeated clearance of
cargo is taking place.
Since 2012, the communication between the customs
authorities throughout the country has been established, and
the border mechanism of integrated control has been
implemented. It allows the customs to independently verify
the documentation provided by the participants of foreign
economic activity when passing the borders [5]. The
introduction of electronic technologies in 2014 allowed a
complete cancellation of customs declarations on paper and a
shift to electronic form [6]. In 2017, the total number of
customs declarations in electronic form amounted to 99.98%.
Moreover, the declarant has the opportunity to declare goods
in advance. However, most of the accompanying documents
are still required in printed form. Besides, the risk
management system, which will be interdepartmental, has
been introduced and is successfully operating.
Russia is a member-state of the Eurasian Economic
Union (EAEU), which involves the creation of a common
market with the participating countries (Armenia, Belarus,
Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan). In order to simplify the
procedure for clearance when moving through both internal
and external borders of the EAEU, the participating countries
have implemented the “single window” mechanism. Since
2017, the “single window” has been implementing in test
mode on the territory of Russia, both in seaports and at land
crossings. It is planned to merge twenty-eight offices into a
single network. However, at the end of 2017, the
implementation rate on basic characteristics is at the level of
58% (similar to Kyrgyzstan) [5].
The “single window” is an integral part of the electronic
customs system, which is built from individual innovative
introductions in the customs service. The mechanism should
soon be launched throughout Russia and the EAEU territory.
Undoubtedly, the E-Customs project looks more
ambitious than the Golden Customs project. However, one of
them has been implemented, and the launching time for the
second project is still unknown. The main problem of the
Russian project is the need to integrate the systems, existing
in different departments, into a single mechanism. The
program was originally created for a specific agency, without
compliance with the principle of the uniformity of the
provision and processing of information.
The Federal Customs Service of Russia in the long term
aims to create a global customs network, which would bring
together “single windows” of the participating states. To date,
the negotiations on the exchange of data between the Chinese
and Russian customs offices are underway. It will include the
project “One Belt, One Road”. However, one of its
challenges is the disclosure of prices of goods. In China, the
price of goods is a commercial secret, so the customs
authority has no right to transfer information to a third party.
V. OPPORTUNITIES FOR COOPERATION AND
COORDINATION OF PROJECTS
Information technologies are being actively introduced in
the state bodies of Russia and China. Despite the fact that
informatization of the customs service in Russia was
launched last, the current state of affairs is at a high level.
Every country carries out the process in its own rhythm,
which should be considered when developing a plan for
interstate synchronization.
Phases of development of Golden Customs project:
1. Preparation for implementation:
1993 The approval of the "Golden Projects".
1994 The start of the project "Golden Customs" (GC).
2. First stage of the project:
1998 Adoption of a resolution on the development of a
modern customs regime. Approval of the 2-stage GC
project implementation plan.
1999 Implementation of an electronic data tracking
system.
2003 The end of the 1st stage of the GC project
implementation.
3. Second stage of the project:
2004 The development strategy for stage 2 has been
adopted. Risk management system implemented
2010 The end of the 2nd stage of the GC project.
4. The project is operational:
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2011 Stage of trial operation and acceptance.
2016 Systems of customs control, credit management
for enterprises engaged in import and export, logistics
monitoring, customs intelligence, prevention and control of
corruption risks; support platform for participants of foreign
economic activity, electronic port; mobile application for
business.
2017 Full transition to the “Single Window” system.
Phases of development of Electronic Customs project:
1. Project Background:
2002 Start of the project "Electronic Russia".
2010 The end of the project "Electronic Russia". The
project failed.
2011 Start of the federal target program "Information
Society.
2. The project implementation:
2012 The “Development Strategy of the Customs
Service of the Russian Federation until 2020” was adopted.
Road maps “Improving Customs Administration” and
“Supporting Access to Foreign Markets and Export Support”
were adopted. The principle of one-time provision of data is
fixed. Information interaction has been established between
customs authorities throughout the country; implemented an
integrated control mechanism.
2014 Transition to electronic declaration. Preliminary
declaration of goods.
2017 Testing of the "Single Window" in individual
customs posts.
2020 The end of the project.
Based on the data, the projects for customs cooperation
may be elaborated.
A. Interdepartmental Integration Within the Framework of
the “Single Window”
Both countries have implemented the "single window"
system, which, on the one hand, brings together departments,
one way or another involved in foreign trade, and on the
other hand, directly interacts with the participants of foreign
economic activity. In the framework of the interstate "single
window", the integration may take place among similar
functional departments. In the long term, the cooperation of
governmental structures in handling movement of goods can
become the basis for a full-scale Russian-Chinese “single
window”.
B. Use of a Single Declaration
The development of the customs service, its flexibility
and a well-timed response to changes in the business
environment directly affect the position of the country in the
Doing Business ranking. In 2018, Russia took the thirty-first
place, while China won three positions: the special
administrative regions Hong Kong and Taiwan were ranked
fourth and thirteenth respectively, and the continental part of
the country took the forty-sixth place. Promoting interstate
cooperation of supervisory authorities would not only raise
the rating, but would also increase the attractiveness of
countries for both importers and exporters. As mentioned
earlier, the customs of China and Russia are in the process of
negotiations on synchronization. In fact, export declaration
provided in one country corresponds to the import
declaration in the other, and the two countries can carry out
movement of goods using a single export-import (or
import-export) declaration.
C. Binding Data to Goods
The Russian version of electronic customs declaration is
an impressive list of documents in the traditional printed
form. As a rule, many of them duplicate those that were
provided by the Chinese exporters to the customs service of
their country. There is a possibility that documents with
unchangeable characteristics will be tied to specific goods,
transported across the border, and will be available in
electronic form to the customs services of the two countries.
For example, the exporter removes construction equipment
from China. To confirm the correctness of the declaration
(e.g. code in the commodity nomenclature of foreign
economic activity), technical regulations, ISO certificates,
and data on the direct producer are provided. Thus, the
content of this documentation will not change with the border
crossing. The customs inspector shall have access to such
documents, but shall not request them from the declarant.
VI. CONCLUSION
Projects “Golden Customs” and “Electronic Customs”
share a common goal - the creation of a single interstate
network. This goal can be achieved through the consistent
and thoughtful integration of existing systems.
The “Golden Customs” project has been known since the
early 1990s and to date has moved from implementation and
final adjustment to the stage of full operation. It is completely
ready for integration with the programs of the customs of
partner states. This is particularly important for China as the
initiator of the OBOR project. Theoretically, electronic
systems of customs services of OBOR member countries can
"connect" to the existing electronic network between
governments and foreign trade participants. As for the
Russian project “Electronic Customs”, it exists since 2012,
and at present is in the process of adjustment and fine-tuning.
This is a definite advantage, as it is possible to create an
already integrated system of interstate interaction, rather than
reshape existing formats under new criteria.
The study ends with the proposal of the projects which
will contribute to effective coordination and cooperation of
Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 298
531
customs services. Integration between similar agencies
creates a solid basis for building a Russian-Chinese “single
window” at the governmental level. A single declaration for
the goods and data-binding system to transferable goods will
significantly reduce clearance time at the border.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The work was supported by the Russian Foundation for
Basic Research, contract No 17-22-21001.
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[2] T. Lepa, Russia and China: Customs and Economic Cooperation.
News of Baikal State University, 2017, 1: 64-72.
[3] P. Lovelock, T. Clark and B.A. Petrazzini, China’s Golden Projects:
Re-engineering the national economy. Harvard Business School case
study, 1996, 9-396-283.
[4] J. Ure, X-J Liang, Convergence and China’s National Information
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[5] Digest, Development of the Single Window mechanism. Moscow:
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Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 298
532
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
The current state and prospects of cross-border cooperation between Russia and China in the context of Eurasian economic integration
  • N Atanov
  • E Ayusheeva
N. Atanov, E. Ayusheeva, The current state and prospects of cross-border cooperation between Russia and China in the context of Eurasian economic integration. Bulletin of the Buryat State University. Economics and management, 2016, 1: 67-74.
Russia and China: Customs and Economic Cooperation
  • T Lepa
T. Lepa, Russia and China: Customs and Economic Cooperation. News of Baikal State University, 2017, 1: 64-72.
China's Golden Projects: Re-engineering the national economy
  • P Lovelock
  • T Clark
  • B A Petrazzini
P. Lovelock, T. Clark and B.A. Petrazzini, China's Golden Projects: Re-engineering the national economy. Harvard Business School case study, 1996, 9-396-283.
Electronic Communication Convergence: Policy Challenges in Asia
  • J Ure
  • X-J Liang
J. Ure, X-J Liang, Convergence and China's National Information Infrastructure. Electronic Communication Convergence: Policy Challenges in Asia, 2000, 5: 115-147.
Development of the Single Window mechanism
  • Digest
Digest, Development of the Single Window mechanism. Moscow: EEC, 2017.
Russia finally switches to customs declaration in electronic form
From January 1, 2014, Russia finally switches to customs declaration in electronic form. Moscow: Federal Customs Service, 2013. http://www.customs.ru/index.php?option=com_content&view=artic le&id=18560:-1--2014----------&catid=40:2011-01-24-15-02-45.