“Any and all” cargo passing through Georgia subject to “tight customs control” – Revenue Service

The Revenue Service of the Ministry of Finance of Georgia has “categorically” declared that “any and all cargo”, including the goods in the list of international sanctions against Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine, is subject to “tight customs control” by the Georgian authorities.

The state agency made the statement on Wednesday in response to footage aired on the opposition-minded Formula TV and showing a column of trucks passing through the Larsi Customs Checkpoint in Georgia’s north “without transit number plates of any state”. The report claimed the transport vehicles were of military use, with their destination and purpose “unclear”.

In the response over the aired material, the Revenue Service clarified the Larsi Customs Checkpoint – a point of crossing on the Georgia-Russia border – had been crossed by 19 non-military trucks manufactured by Russia’s Kamaz company but owned by entities in Armenia, and bound for the country, within the past week.

The trucks had been registered “in full compliance” with regulations of both Georgian and international customs protocols prior to their release to the ultimate destination, the statement also said.

The state body also urged Georgian media outlets to “refrain” from airing “‘unverified content”, and confirm information with respective institutions.

On Monday, the Ministry of Finance of Georgia said the information alleged by Ukrainian authorities on Russia creating smuggling channels for sanctioned products using Georgian territory was “a completely baseless and absurd accusation.”

Georgia has been exercising “strict control over all customs checkpoints” in the country and has been monitoring incoming and outgoing cargo since the beginning of the impositions of sanctions on Russia, the statement of the Ministry said.

The Ministry declared “with full responsibility” that “any type of goods, both military and of dual-use”, including the products in the list of sanctions, were subject to the strict customs control.

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, and Vice Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk, this week alleged the Georgian political leadership had agreed to smuggle sanctioned goods to Russia through Georgia.

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