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VIENNA, April 23. /TASS/. Russia has offered Switzerland to sign an agreement in collaboration in the sphere of customs, Ruslan Davydov, first deputy director of Russia’s Federal Customs Service told TASS on Saturday.
As the incumbent chairperson of the Council of the World Customs Organization (WCO), he took part in a conference of the organization’s Europe region, held in Vienna from April 19 through April 21.
"Russia and Switzerland don’t have a general agreement on collaboration in the sphere of customs," Davydov said. "We held talks and agreed to try and meet each other halfway and to initiate an agreement of the kind."
The stressed the importance of contacts of this kind, adding: "We have a need to ask definite information from the Swiss in connection with various financial patterns but the Swiss tell us they can’t give it out to us because they don’t have an agreement with us."
"In the light of it, we offered them to sign a document of this kind," Davydov said.
Transits in the European region were the central issue at the conference of Europe region member entities. A total of 51 nations and the European commission as a separate entr·e have membership of the WCO’s European subdivision.
On the whole, the World Customs Organization has 180 member-states accounting for 98 percen of world trade. As a legal successor to the USSR, Russia received membership of the organization in 1992.
The WCO develops, implements and upgrades the legal instruments in the sphere of customs operations and is a depositary of seventeen international conventions, including the Kyoto Convention, which is known officially as the International Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures.