Dedicated to Tamara Buyanova

Dear friends, colleagues!

We bring to your attention another reserch paper «Legal and organizational basis for economic and customs unions to get the status of member of the World Customs Organization» related to the activities of the World Customs Organization, which is the only international forum represented by the majority of the customs administrations of the world, and within the walls of which a wide range of issues of customs regulation and trade facilitation are considered on an ongoing basis. The author of the study is Sergei Mozer, senior researcher at the Research Institute of the Russian Customs Academy, PhD. in Law

The issues of membership of economic and customs unions in the World Customs Organization (WCO, Organization) analyzed in this monograph are not chosen by chance. The initiative for the membership of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU, the Union) in this international organization was first put forward by the Russian side in 2015, and five years later found its consolidation in the Strategic Directions for the Development of Eurasian Economic Integration until 2025, approved by the heads of the EAEU Member States at a meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council December 11, 2020.

It should be added that in the framework of official high-level meetings of representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission and the WCO, the issue of the Union’s membership in the Organization was voiced back in 2017, but rather as a prospect for further study.

In the light of the foregoing, it became clear that the implementation of this initiative would require fundamental research on the legal status of the EU in the WCO as a precedent for other customs and economic unions. Without a doubt, this analytical work can be used in the expert work of customs specialists, as well as authorized bodies of the EAEU Member States, when considering the implementation of the intention to change the status of the Union as an observer to a more serious one — the status of a member of an international customs organization.

Sergei Mozer

The practical experience of the author’s interaction with the WCO shows that the results of the study may be of interest to supranational governing bodies of customs and economic unions in the world, both in terms of considering their membership in the WCO and organizing effective customs cooperation with the World Customs Organization.

The monograph examines the prospects for the Union’s accession to the WCO, analyzes the legal status of observers, as well as the experience of the EU as a precedent for the Union in terms of membership in the Organization. It also discusses the legal issues related to the EU request, the risks, the distribution of competencies between the EU and the Member States, as well as the steps to obtain the desired statute.

Along with this, the legal, institutional and financial implications of the EU’s accession to the WCO, legal issues and the results of amendments to the Convention on the Establishment of the Customs Cooperation Council, as well as proposals from interested parties on granting the EU a new legal status are analyzed. Special attention is paid to the issues of voting in the WCO and the methodology for paying membership fees.

The research paper analyzes the final acts of the WCO Council on granting the EU in 2007 rights and obligations akin to those  enjoyed by WCO Members, as well as the identified contradictions with WCO law in connection with these actions.

In our opinion, the analysis of the EU legal instruments in terms of membership in the Organization and the formed practical proposals deserve attention.

The structure of the monograph is presented in such a way that for expert work it is not required to get acquainted with the work in full. It is enough to read the conclusions that are formulated for almost each of the research blocs we have identified. Moreover, the conclusions are divided into groups — the main issues that are relevant for practical work and operational immersion in the issues of the legal and organizational foundations for obtaining the status of a WCO member by economic and customs unions.

The formulated conclusions and suggestions are the private point of view of the author and are not related to his professional activities.

In the light of the foregoing, we hope that the research material presented to your attention will be useful for subsequent scientific research and practical work of the expert community in the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union.

The author expresses his sincere gratitude to the leadership of the Academy, as well as to the staff of the Editorial and Publishing Department of the Russian Customs Academy for their help in publishing this monograph. Thank you.

You may read the contents of the monograph at the link.


Sergei Mozer