Heydar Aliyev's way of development of the customs service of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's independence at the dawn of the 21st century marked the beginning of a new phase in its history. The irreplaceable nature of our national wealth, the far- sighted policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev played an important role in making Azerbaijan worthy of its place among the superior countries. Since the second half of 1993, Azerbaijan's progressive development and ensuring its sovereignty are directly linked to the successful customs policy in the country. Thus, successful steps have been taken in our country to improve customs affairs, strengthen the logistical, legal and regulatory framework of customs authorities and integrate into the global customs system.
Land of Fire Azerbaijan is one of the oldest settlements in the world, a country with a very ancient history and rich culture. Since the famous Silk Road, which connects Europe and Asia, passes right by Azerbaijan territory and due to the fact, that meeting point of trade caravans was also located between East West and South North, trade and craftsmanship rapidly developed in this region. The medieval documents prove that Azerbaijan has a very long history of foreign trade relations. Thus, in the 9th century customs duties were already applied in the territory of Azerbaijan.
After the establishment of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the country's leaders decided to take some measures to organize and manage customs. However, the development of customs affairs has not been completed, as well as other important activities of the independent state of Azerbaijan, which has existed for 23 months. With the transfer of foreign trade to the state monopoly in the Soviet Union, which was the successor of tsarist Russia, the importance of customs services was reduced and subordinated to various economic authorities.
After the restoration of sovereignty of the Republic of Azerbaijan on January 30, 1992 the Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan was established. However, the tense political situation in the country has also had an impact on customs services. From the first years of its existence, the national customs system has declined day by day, instead of moving forward with the help of dealers. Unprofessional staff, Soviet customs legislation, old administrative buildings, checkpoints that were not even the simplest of technical means - all these were the realities of that time.
Under these circumstances, the decision of the Supreme Assembly of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on February 24, 1992 established the Customs Committee of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, thus making an important step towards the formation of a true national customs service.
In 1993, at the request of the people, the National Leader Heydar Aliyev laid the foundation for a new stage in the development of independent Azerbaijan. Since that time, positive changes in the socio-political life of the republic, consistent economic and political reforms and a unified economic strategy for equal and mutually beneficial economic cooperation of the state with all countries have been formulated. The new historical conditions, the increase in imports of investment goods into the country, required the implementation of flexible customs policies that could regulate foreign economic activity and the creation of a healthy competitive environment in the transition to a market economy.
The State Customs Committee, striving to build its business in line with modern requirements, has expanded its business relations with the customs authorities of foreign countries in recent years, which has played an important role in the deepening of reforms and formation of the state budget revenues. Hence, it can be concluded that customs policy is reflected in foreign relations and serves to strengthen and expand the economy. The mutually beneficial cooperation with the customs authorities of the developed countries and relevant international organizations is a sign of the successful future of the Azerbaijani customs system. The State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan has been a member of the World Customs Organization since June 1992. At the same time, the State Customs Committee has been represented in the WTO's Financial Committee since 1999, since 2000 at the WTO's Higher Organizational-Political Commission and since 2002 in the Customs Cooperation Committee.
As a result of the positive steps taken by Azerbaijan in the area of international customs cooperation, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed in 1996 with the European Union and its Member States. In the same year, our country joined the Customs Convention on International Carriage by the use of the BYD booklet, the International Convention on Harmonized System for the Description and Coding of Goods in May 2000, and on the Agreement on Border Control in February of that year. Furthermore, to the International Convention (Geneva Convention, 1982), in February 2002, to the International Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in the Prevention, Investigation and Elimination of Customs Offenses (Nairobi Convention), in December 2003. In addition, joined the "International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures" (the Kyoto Convention). Interaction between the Economic Development Organization (GUAM), the International Road Union, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC), the UN Special Program for Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Afghanistan (SPECA) and several other international organizations acknowledges the scope of activity.
In order to improve the customs legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan, particular laws, such as the Customs Code of 1995, the Customs Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan (1997, the new Customs Code was adopted in September 2011) and the 1998 Regulations on the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Regulations on Service in the Customs Authorities in 1999, as well as the "Flag of the Customs Authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan" and the "Badge of Recognition of the Customs Authorities of the Republic of Azerbaijan" in 2001 were adopted. In 2001, the State Customs Committee Board adopted the "Code of Honor of a Customs Official." Each of these laws more clearly defines the duties and powers that the customs authorities must perform.