The Finance Minister's new order – is the ministry deceiving shipping companies and the general population? - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

The Finance Minister's new order – is the ministry deceiving shipping companies and the general population?

10 May, 2013

Today, Transparency International Georgia became aware that the Minister of Finance signed the order, which abolishes the previous regulations which not only cause serious problems for local small and medium sized carriers, but also place the Georgian Post in an advantageous position. The most concerning fact is that the regulations will not be terminated immediately and will only stop functioning from January 1, 2014. Presumably, small and medium sized shipping companies will not exist by that time.

In order to remind you, TI Georgia criticized these regulations from the very beginning. TI Georgia made an application to the court, requesting for the order to be abolished. The representatives of the Ministry of Finance filed a motion, requesting a two week adjournment of the hearing.  This, according to them, was so that the working groups operating within the ministry could carry out some amendments to the order. They claimed that with these amendments in place, there will no longer be a need to continue the dispute.

TI Georgia thinks that issuing today’s order, which will come into force from January 1, 2014, is not a solution to the problem. Furthermore, shipping companies along with the general population are being deceived because of the following:

  1. In eight months time private companies will be excluded from the market, while Georgian Post will maintain an advantageous position in the carrier business. At the same time, these local companies will suffer from serious financial problems and probably won’t have the chance to come back on market.
  2. In eight months time the current regulations of customs territory will remain the same. Maintaining the same regulations is not in compliance with the law and further counteracts obligations made by international contracts.
  3. Moreover, the Minister’s new order is inconsistent as it enforces an annulment for specific regulations, eight months ahead of time, while the very same regulations were enforced in six days after the respective order was issued.

We urge the ministry to abolish the order (January 1, 2014) immediately and to consider the interests of small and medium sized shipping companies.

The next court hearing will take place on May 14, where TI Georgia will continue defending the legal interests of shipping companies.