ECONOMY

Shake-up for customs

The government is changing the structure and operation of the country’s unreliable customs stations in order to beat tax evasion and illegal trade, with new auditing squads contributing to this effort at 21 main customs offices around the country. The stations at Doirani and Niki, on the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), will revert to their old status of not allowing goods on which Special Consumption Tax is imposed, such as fuel, alcoholic drinks and tobacco products, following extensive phenomena of smuggling, attributed to problems at FYROM’s customs. Companies to have used these two stations in the last six months will be checked thoroughly. Deputy Economy Minister Antonis Bezas announced that operation rules at customs stations will change soon and staff at customs or tax authorities will be relocated if they have failed to fulfill their tasks. The presidential decree expected soon will also provide for the abolition or merging of some stations.