17 January 2018, Wednesday, 11:44

Customs service's tricks: Pay for long queues

Customs officers invented a new scheme of extorting money from citizens.

Charter97.org has learnt it from a reader.

“I was to receive a parcel from abroad. It was sent by airmail. But customs officers said it was a long queue at the customs at the national airport Minsk, so they cannot check waybills on time and had to store parcels in the temporary storage warehouse. The price is rather high,” he notes.

The reader attached an audio record, in which a customs officer claims “the goods are in the tariff regulation department, and the customs declaration was sent to the department of costs”, but later said they could not give the parcel due to long queues.

“According to laws, a customs declaration is completed within 24 hours and the first day in the temporary storage warehouse is free. But the customs chief can extend this period up to 10 days. They can delay the procedure in order to get more money from businessmen and ordinary citizens,” the reader added.

Readers of our website reported about different ways to extort money from people practiced by the Belarusian customs committee. For example, customs officers demanded to pay 1,500 dollars to clear the equipment that had been temporary taken outside Belarus for repair works. Another reader bought a shirt at an online store abroad and was charged with a duty equal to the price of the shirt.