How did your business start?
It all began spontaneously, like many in the early 90's. The time was not easy, but the harshest memory is the crisis of 1998 of the year. Everything collapsed, including international transport. At that time, our customers were random people, many of them had no clear idea of development, and the crisis literally crushed almost everyone. It became clear that we need to work with companies capable of Build a forward-looking development strategy. In 1999, in the midst of the spontaneous market, a customs broker “Master Broker” was created, whose task was to organize a civilized and safe model of customs clearance focused on legal large business. Then few people understood this, and we ourselves could not boast of great success, but time has shown that we were right.
What do you think, when a fracture occurred in the minds of businessmen?
In the beginning of the 2000's, as the economy recovered after the 1998 crisis of the year, large Western companies began to work in Russia, sharing our views. Rockwool became the first major client for the Master Broker, but a real breakthrough occurred at the turn of the 2006-2007 years. The state began to influence the market of customs services and import of goods, increasing control and pressure on unscrupulous importers. Over the years, the company has accumulated vast experience in the administration and processing of complex and groupage cargoes.
What are the benefits of working through a customs broker?
Firstly, by law, the broker is jointly and severally liable for the information specified in the declaration. Secondly, the broker's liability is insured for 20 million rubles for each case. Thirdly, the responsibility of the customs broker to the customs authorities is guaranteed by 1 million euros. Given all these factors, the customs representative is as responsible as possible about what and how he does, because responsibility for his work, in accordance with the new Customs Code of the Russian Federation, ends only after five years. At the same time, such a declarant is preferable for customs for the same reasons. There is more trust in the broker, and this trust is deserved for years of professional and accurate work. Now, given our reputation, I can say that the customs authorities are on our side and in every way contribute to our work and development, seeing us as reliable and responsible partners. But in order to earn such trust, I had to fight. Behind not one or two won ships.
What allows you to look to the future with confidence?
The most important thing is the people who work with us and with whom we work for many years. Relations with our contractors have been going on for at least 15 years. The company employs true professionals in their field, responsible and reliable. A huge role is played by reputation. From the first day of the existence of the Master-Broker company, we ruled out an unscrupulous approach, focusing on a legal, transparent and understandable business. I can say that not only customers choose us, but we also choose those with whom we are ready to work. The responsibility is mutual, and we are not at all striving for a continuous blind conveyor in the work. Each set of documents, each supplier and importer is carefully checked, prices, permits, accompanying documents for cargo, contracts are checked. There are no trifles in this business.
In this case, isn’t it easier for you to prepare documents for import yourself, and not check for others?
Of course it is. And we prepare contracts, agreements, interact with certification bodies, with carriers, senders. We even offer our companies to import goods under an agent scheme. In total for 2% of the cost, we take care of all the formalities in the framework of foreign economic activity. In fact, our customers receive properly executed goods in Russia for rubles, without interfering with the intricacies of banking legislation and financial control over participants in foreign economic activity. We offer turnkey delivery, therefore we call ourselves a group of companies, implying the availability of all tools for market participants - a customs representative, forwarding company, transport company, trading company, warehouse.
Why then do we need an agent company, which in fact becomes a participant in a transaction between a supplier and an end customer? How do suppliers relate to this if, for example, direct agreements exist between them and customers in Russia?
The agent scheme implies a three-way connection between the supplier and the end customer. In fact, the transaction is concluded on behalf of the agent, but on behalf of and at the expense of the principal. Its meaning is to rid the Russian company of the worries and risks associated with the administration of foreign trade. Such a scheme is primarily suitable for small companies purchasing goods in small quantities. The costs of agent services in this case are less than the costs of maintaining their own staff of specialists - from logisticians to accountants. The main and only concern of a trading company should be trade, not logistics operations. In the conditions of the “gray” market, everyone was spinning as best they could, and saved due to logistic costs. But these times are gone. The average total cost of supplying shoes is about 25-30%, and can hardly be significantly reduced due to logistic tricks. Timing, payment guarantees, reliability and responsibility of the logistics operator and customs broker come to the fore. A trading company can concentrate on determining the assortment, guessing the tastes of the consumer, and not on the details and subtleties of the customs, banking and tax laws related to imports. And now the marking of shoes on the nose ...
A very topical issue. What do you say about this?
I can say that I am very pleased with such innovations. We are members of the design and expert group under the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation for labeling and receive first-hand information. With our participation and before our eyes, the outlines of the future system are being formed. I am convinced that ultimately transparency and fair competition are necessary for both trading companies and consumers. We have been living in a world of high technologies for a long time, for example, in logistics, Maersk began testing blockchain technology in its business processes. It is logical that changes are also taking place in matters of control over the activities of legal entities. The state wants to know everything about us. And it, of course, will know everything very soon. When it became known about the introduction of the obligatory book of purchases and sales in electronic form, many gave up. Say, when will it still be, when will everyone still learn how to administer it, in Russia everything is “solved” ...
But look what happens today: one-day firms, cashing out, have practically disappeared. On the one hand, it is difficult for those who are used to living in such conditions, but if you look at the situation on the other hand, in the future we will see how the whitewashing and legalization of business will really help entrepreneurs grow. Changes take time, it is necessary to change the business culture, attitude to taxes, social responsibility. This is a long process, but it is ongoing. Marking (labeling) of goods enables the state to control the legality, payment of VAT and thereby ensure equal competitive conditions for all market participants. It is already clear that the marking will be, and it will affect not only the shoes.
How do you prepare for the introduction of labeling, how will this affect the business of your customers?
At the moment, when choosing a labeling tool, there is an understanding that you need to move away from the concept of KIZ, since within the framework of the EEC this is a strict reporting form, and introduce the concept of SI (identification tool). The main way everyone sees the use of QR codes, but it is also proposed to experiment with RFID tags in parallel in an experiment. In principle, any 2D codes can be used as SI, but the emphasis is still on the QR code and Data Matrix. A large number of disputes in the context of labeling today cause questions of labeling residues. The main ones are the terms for marking residues and amnesty for a certain number of pairs of residues. There are no definitively formed and legislatively fixed normative legal acts for conducting the experiment. The work of expert working groups under the Ministry of Industry and Trade continues to develop and agree on guidelines for the experiment. According to the Roadmap, guidelines should have appeared in February, and an experiment was launched in March, but this has not yet happened. Most likely, voluntary labeling will begin no earlier than January 2019, and according to the results of the experiment, a decision will be made on the timing and procedure for introducing mandatory labeling of shoes. After the introduction of mandatory marking, the import and sale of products without marking will be impossible. Not all manufacturers are ready to help their customers in this matter, which we now see on the example of EAC labels. Manufacturers agree to compensate buyers for the costs of our services, and we carry out labeling at the consolidation warehouse. We will do the same in the case of the adoption of mandatory marking. Technically, this is a more complex process, but we are ready for it.
How to protect your business when checking certificates and labeling?
If we talk about the information component, the government, together with business representatives - members of working expert groups - and the National Shoe Union pay great attention to protecting the business. The action plan includes the development and coordination of requirements for the protection of information contained in IP-marking, and to ensure information security when using information and communication technologies. If we talk about protection from sanctions by the state for violating certification and labeling rules, then everything is simple - trust professionals and not look for dubious solutions.
When importing goods, carriers often take care of certification. How can I check the certificates for correctness?
When using importers of certificates and declarations of conformity for goods issued to other legal entities (applicants), it is important to know the following: the use of certificates and declarations for serial production by third parties is possible only if the authorization from the applicant for the right to use these permits is provided. In order to avoid problems during customs clearance of goods, it is imperative to check the legitimacy of the submitted permits. You can check the accuracy of certificates and declarations of conformity in a single database of Rosacredit, which is freely available on the website www.fsa.gov.ru. On this resource, by document number, you can check all the information of this particular document (date of issue, validity, addresses and names of manufacturers, article number, name of goods, etc.). It should be noted that when declaring goods with false information or invalid documents, the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation (Article 16.2.3) provides for a fine for legal entities in the amount of 50 thousand to 300 thousand rubles with or without confiscation of goods that were the subject of the offense.
It is known that soon the issuance of test reports without the provision of samples will be impossible. How are imported and imported samples for certification?
The correctness of the workflow when importing samples is extremely important. For the import of samples for certification of these products without the issuance of permits at the time of import, a contract must be concluded with the certification body for the provision of certification services for these products and testing, which specifies the number and range of samples required for testing. In order to confirm intentions, in addition to a copy of the contract, bills from the certification body and payment documents confirming their payment are submitted to the customs authority. When signing the contract, it is necessary to stipulate the execution and receipt of the test reports themselves, on the basis of which a certificate or declaration of conformity will be issued.
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