20 January 2018, Saturday, 0:31

National Bank vs. Shuttle Traders


The poll at the border that made o lot of noise was held for studying the “shuttle trading”.

Its goal was to study the problem of non-organized import and export of goods by natural persons, National Bank’s press-service reports. The poll was held on 20 and 21 September at seven border crossing points. Apart from the National Bank, Belarusian Statistical Committee, Customs and Border Control Committees were involved in its organization, according to the statement.

“The main goals of the study were addendum and improvement of the current methods of obtaining information on the volumes of Belarus’ foreign trade in goods, not reflected in the Customs statistics, and, first of all, exploration of the problem of the non-organized import and export of goods by natural persons (the so-called “shuttle trading”). Apart from studying the flows of goods the survey’s questionnaire had a number of questions on the volumes and direction of the international tourism flows, which has been gaining significance for the country”, - the statement says.

National Bank’s press-service highlights that the survey was voluntary. After the processing of the results, decisions will be made on the basis of the obtained information on the necessity to adjust the current system of statistical service for the foreign trade in goods and services.

“Currently the volumes of shuttle trading in goods, including non-organized flows of cigarettes and fuel, are already reflected in the official statistics on the basis of appraisal methods. The data on the number of border crossings (with the exception of the border with the Russian Federation) are also known and are already being used for the formation of the data on services in the sphere of international tourism. The results of the survey will be used for specifying the statistical data, obtained by appraisal methods”, - the statement says.

National Bank’s press-service notes that selective survey techniques, including poll for natural persons, are actively used in many countries around the world and are probably the only source of data for some areas of these countries’ statistics.

We would remind that in the form, offered for filling to the citizens, crossing the border, there were questions in Russian and English. The people, crossing the border, were asked to tell about the goals of the foreign trip and its duration. The authors of the questionnaire also asked about the amount of money that people were planning on spending in their travel and the good that they were taking out of our country.

Many Belarusians expressed concern over this new initiative by the National Bank and noted its weird coincidence with the ruler’s suggestion to impose a $100 fee on the people, going to Lithuania and Poland for shopping.