Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Derecho Público "Dr. Humberto J. La Roche"
de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad del Zulia
Maracaibo, Venezuela
Esta publicación cientíca en formato digital es continuidad de la revista impresa
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197402ZU34
ppi 201502ZU4645
Vol.39 N° 69
Julio
Diciembre
2021
Recibido el 14/03/2021 Aceptado el 22/06/2021
ISSN 0798- 1406 ~ De si to le gal pp 198502ZU132
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Vol. 39, Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre) 2021, 615-629
IEPDP-Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas - LUZ
The Role of Information Technologies in
Improving Eciency of Russian Customs
Administration (Based on Results of
Sociological Survey)
DOI: https://doi.org/10.46398/cuestpol.3969.38
Andrey Kurochka *
Mikhail Popov **
Inna Gaidareva ***
Victoria Enina ****
Abstract
As a research objective, the digital paradigm of economic and
social development, in general, which denes the information
strategy for the development of the Russian customs service
and administration as necessary and priority, is analyzed. The
methodological basis is based on the ideas and principles
of an integrated information approach to the study of the customs
service and the concept of «customs service», which treats the customs
administration as service oriented. We also use additional theoretical
approaches (socio-cultural and neo-institutional) as an explanatory model
of the developmental characteristics of the Russian customs service. The
empirical verication of conceptual attitudes in this study was conducted
based on our 2020 expert sociological survey. In the survey, there were 269
employees of Rostov customs, which is structurally included in the Southern
Customs Administration. The study concludes that the greater eciency
in the positive dynamics of the work of the Russian customs authorities
is associated with the introduction of information technologies (especially
electronic declaration). Consequently, the results of this study can be used
to develop a strategy to overcome certain barriers in service.
Keywords: information technology; customs administration; customs
system; customs authorities; digitization of computerization.
* Graduate Student of the Department of Theoretical Sociology and Methodology of Regional Studies,
Southern Federal University, Rostov-on-Don, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9895-
3752. Email: kurochka-andrey@yandex.ru
** Editor-in-Chief of the Scientic Journal "Humanities, Socio-Economic and Social Sciences, Krasnodar,
Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2090-0933. Email: popov-52@mail.ru
*** PhD of Social Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Constitutional and Administrative
Law, Adygeya State University, Maykop, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2398-7592.
Email: alay_1968@mail.ru
**** PhD of Social Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of "Automobile Transport and
Technological Equipment", Don State University, Shakhty, Russia. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-
0002-9116-9877. Email: kurochka-andrey@yandex.ru
616
Andrey Kurochka, Mikhail Popov, Inna Gaidareva y Victoria Enina
The Role of Information Technologies in Improving Eciency of Russian Customs Administration
(Based on Results of Sociological Survey)
El papel de las tecnologías de la información en la
mejora de la eciencia de la administración aduanera
rusa (según los resultados de la encuesta sociológica)
Resumen
A modo de objetivo de investigación se analiza el paradigma digital
del desarrollo económico y social, en general, que dene la estrategia de
información para el desarrollo del servicio y la administración aduanera
de Rusia como necesaria y prioritaria. La base metodológica se basa en las
ideas y principios de un enfoque integrado de información para el estudio
del servicio aduanero y el concepto de «servicio aduanero», que trata a la
administración aduanera como orientada al servicio. También utilizamos
enfoques teóricos adicionales (socioculturales y neoinstitucionales) como
modelo explicativo de las características de desarrollo del servicio de
aduanas ruso. La vericación empírica de las actitudes conceptuales de
este estudio se llevó a cabo sobre la base de nuestra encuesta sociológica de
tipo experto de 2020. En la encuesta, había 269 empleados de la Aduana
de Rostov, que está estructuralmente incluida en la Administración de
Aduanas del Sur. El estudio concluye que la mayor eciencia en la dinámica
positiva del trabajo de las autoridades aduaneras rusas está asociada con
la introducción de tecnologías de la información (especialmente con la
declaración electrónica). En consecuencia, los resultados de este estudio
se pueden utilizar para desarrollar una estrategia para superar ciertas
barreras en el servicio.
Palabras clave: tecnologías de la información; administración
aduanera; sistema aduanero; autoridades aduaneras;
digitalización de la informatización.
Introduction
Strategically important areas of development of the Russian Federation
include creation of favorable conditions for foreign economic activity,
increasing competitiveness and improving the investment climate of the
country (Anisina and Pavlova, 2021). In this regard, customs administration
naturally falls into the focus of public and scientic attention. It should be
noted that over the past decade a lot has been done to improve its eciency,
which has yielded positive results, especially in the eld of digitalization
of customs procedures (Balandina et al., 2018). Experts state that Russia
is even ahead of other countries in terms of eciency and timeliness of
publishing information on classication and origin of goods, possibility
and conditions for appealing administrative decisions by the regulatory
authorities (Solehzoda, 2017; Dmitrieva et al., 2020).
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CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 615-629
Nevertheless, experts state, that it has not yet been possible to overcome
the signicant gap between Russia and other countries in the eld of
customs administration, which determines the low position of Russian
customs service in international rating (Koroleva et al., 2019; Kiyanova
et al., 2020). The problems associated with customs clearance procedure
and the signicant time spent on processing documents (the number
of documents being disproportionately large), have a painful impact
on functioning of Russian customs system. This system has some other
problems: the growth of business costs, the lack of sustainable partnership
with business actors; disjointed work of customs and tax services and, as
a result, the reproduction of shadow schemes and strategies, in customs
payment and taxes. (Vorotyntseva et al., 2020; Dmitrieva et al., 2021).
The solution of these and other problems that determine the lag of
Russian customs system from other states is directly related to high
quality of customs administration. Approved by the Government of the
Russian Federation in May 2020 (No. 1388-r), the “Customs Service
Development Strategy until 2030” involves overcoming barriers to improve
competitiveness of customs system by creating favorable conditions for all
of the participants in foreign economic activity. Taking into account the
world practice of customs administration (primarily related to the digital
paradigm transition of customs services), it is focused on automation of
business processes related to customs administration; interaction of
customs authorities with other government agencies and business through
electronic technologies; reducing time and nancial costs for participants
in foreign economic activities while improving the eectiveness of customs
control (Romanovskaya et al., 2020).
Thus, although the period of Russian customs service reform has brought
some positive results, the remaining problems in the system of customs
administration do not yet allow us to assess it as one meeting international
standards and tasks of economic development of Russia, ensuring its
economic security.
This determines social signicance of the study, while its scientic
relevance is associated with a wide range of opinions and positions
regarding the concept of customs administration, methodological models
of its study and strategies for improving eciency of Russian customs
system and administration in the context of modern Russian realities and
risks (Dmitrieva et al., 2020).
Many Russian scientists turn to the study of foreign experience in
organizing management of the customs service. That seems justied in
view of the earlier transition of some countries to advanced information
technologies, awareness of the prospects of service work of customs
authorities, understanding the need of a dialogue between customs
services and business (Balandina et al., 2018). For Russian scientists, the
618
Andrey Kurochka, Mikhail Popov, Inna Gaidareva y Victoria Enina
The Role of Information Technologies in Improving Eciency of Russian Customs Administration
(Based on Results of Sociological Survey)
factor of customs service proximity to business (in terms of understanding
its problems and trying to solve them optimally) is also an important
eectiveness indicator of the customs administration system (Solehzoda,
2017; Anisina and Pavlova, 2021).
Research shows that abroad they also discuss interaction of tax and
customs departments and validity of their separate existence (Kahn et
al., 2001). These aspects are included in Russian customs discourse, and
in most cases, experts treat the inconsistency of tax and customs services
as one of the serious reasons for the low eciency of Russian customs
administration.
At the same time, despite some discussions in the study of Russian
customs administration, it is obvious to most scientists that transition to the
digital paradigm of economic and social development in general determines
(as necessary and priority) the information strategy for development of
Russian customs service and its organizational and managerial component,
i.e., customs administration. Many studies have been devoted to this aspect
(Dmitrieva et al., 2021). However, there is a clear shortage of sociological
works in this direction. At the same time, sociological reection on the
problems of management and managerial eciency can lead us to a new
level of understanding and solving problems related to improving eciency
of Russian customs administration.
1. Materials and Methods
A deep examination of the problematic background of Russian customs
authorities and customs administration involves an appeal not only to
statistical data, positions of scientists and analysts but the opinion of
customs system employees themselves. This will allow us to look “from
the inside”, through the eyes of the main actors in organization of customs
process and functioning of this sphere.
In this regard, sociological study of the role of information technologies
in improving eciency of Russian customs administration (which is the key
goal of this work) is based on the array of our sociological survey empirical
results. The full-time employees of Rostov customs presented their expert
opinion on the key areas of reforming Russian customs service and meeting
the international standards.
Our study was conducted in the period from April to June 2020 according
to the type of expert survey based on a standardized questionnaire. In
total, 269 employees of the Rostov Customs, structurally included in the
Southern Customs Administration (among other 7 customs oces) took
part in our expert study. The selection of experts was carried out on the
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CUESTIONES POLÍTICAS
Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 615-629
basis of data on the total number of employees (879 people) of the Rostov
Customs for the survey period, i.e., April 2020, in the ratio of management
and inspection sta. The study involved 26 employees of management
sta and 243 employees of inspection sta. The selection of respondents
also took into account their work experience, gender and age. Among the
experts there were 144 men and 125 women aged 18 to 65 years. 59 people
had less than 5 years of work experience, 46 - from 5 to 10 years, 93 - from
10 to 20 years, 68 - from 20 to 30 years and 3 - over 30 years.
Methodological foundations of this study are based on a number of
concepts and theoretical paradigms that are most adequate to the current
trends in development of customs administration on a global scale and in
the Russian state, following international standards and trends.
One of these approaches, which reects the needs and realities of
development in a modern way, is the information-integrated approach.
Anisina and Pavlova (2021) state that this approach does not contradict the
traditional administrative paradigm of studying the customs service, but,
on the contrary, complements and forms it in a synergistic form. Within the
framework of this approach, customs (as the main core of customs services
formation) integrate various elements of customs service sphere and
projects a kind of “informational and legal image of the service” (Anisina
and Pavlova, 2021). In this conceptual design, customs appear as a “service
customs”, and customs administration - as a service-oriented one.
The advanced countries have recognized the advantages of the “service
concept” in customs aairs and management. In fact, the world customs
system can be called a system of customs service (Balandina et al., 2018),
focused primarily on eective interaction with business to increase its
eectiveness and ensure a high level of economic security.
This, of course, involves minimizing bureaucratic procedures of customs
process and various types of costs (nancial, time) for participants in foreign
economic activity (FEA). Within the framework of the “service customs”
concept, control, and promotion of trade (business) are considered as
components of a single mechanism aimed at positivizing attitudes of business
to the customs service; improving the quality of services; simplication of
customs procedures for law-abiding participants of foreign trade, etc. All
that determines the evolutionary trajectory of customs system development
to the “service customs”.
This service nature of customs, which is still quite new for the entire
world community and for Russia in particular, denes provision of state
(customs) services as its most important function, which does not contradict
the structural and functional component of Russian customs system as a
state structure designed to promote eective development of foreign trade
activities in control and law enforcement activities within certain functional
powers (Krasulina et al., 2019; Dmitrieva et al., 2020).
620
Andrey Kurochka, Mikhail Popov, Inna Gaidareva y Victoria Enina
The Role of Information Technologies in Improving Eciency of Russian Customs Administration
(Based on Results of Sociological Survey)
In the outlined methodological priorities, customs administration
should be considered as a management activity of customs authorities,
designed to promote the development of foreign trade, and provide services
to persons moving goods and vehicles across the customs border, as well
as perform tax, law enforcement and control functions (Solehzoda, 2017;
Dmitrieva et al., 2021).
2. Results
One of the problems in functioning of Russian customs service is
traditionally called “administrative barriers” (Kiyanova et al., 2020) which
hinder the customs formalities. The results of our expert survey have
generally conrmed this well-established point of view: 54.6% of Rostov
Customs employees we surveyed believe that administrative barriers, albeit
slightly, hinder the customs control, 22.3% of experts are convinced that
this factor has a signicant impact. At the same time, 50.2% of experts
state, that it is impossible to completely overcome administrative barriers,
but it does not negate the need to ght this vice, which, from the point of
view of only 12% of the experts surveyed, can be completely eradicated in
customs control system. A fairly large number of experts (22.7%) think
that without administrative barriers the customs control system cannot
function in principle, i.e., the barriers are generated by the very system of
state administration.
Most of the customs ocials still see the need to overcome administrative
barriers, and, as our research has shown, the most eective way to treat them
is the eective use of new information and communication technologies
in activities of Russian customs authorities, such as electronic declaration,
interdepartmental interaction, auto-registration of declarations for goods,
auto-release of goods, etc. Among the information technologies that
have been developed in administrative activities of customs authorities,
electronic declaration was named the rst in terms of eectiveness (4.25
points on a 5-grade scale).
It was followed by the procedure of preliminary information (3.95 points),
automatic registration of declarations for goods (3.76 points), automatic
release of goods in accordance with the declared customs procedure (3.63
points). The lowest number of points (3,59) in the rating table of the types
of information technology used in administration of customs authorities
scored a system of interdepartmental electronic cooperation (SIEC). It
corresponds to the experts’ opinion on measures for the most eective
development of e-Declaration mechanism in Russian customs system.
The majority of respondents (17.9 per cent) believes that it is necessary to
establish the mechanism of interdepartmental interaction in practice of
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Vol. 39 Nº 69 (Julio - Diciembre 2021): 615-629
electronic communication, interaction of foreign trade participants and
regulatory authorities (tax and customs) within the framework of a single
information system, standardized forms of electronic communication and
data exchange.
Among the signicant measures there were also those related to
introduction of more eective mechanisms of interaction between
electronic customs and customs of control (17.7%); maximum simplication
of electronic declaration technologies (17.0%); improvement of the
mechanism for providing information to the customs authority, without
the need to duplicate it (14.9%), as well as regulatory legislation in the eld
of implementing the electronic declaration system in activities of Russian
customs (9.6%).
Experts also noted the importance of studying the world experience in
implementation of information technologies and electronic declarations
in the system of customs authorities, creation of special centers for
implementation of this task (8.1%). At the same level of signicance there
was the measure associated with reduction of information volume provided
in declaration for goods (8.0%), in contrast to the measures related to
ensuring condentiality and protection of information, primarily in the
process of interdepartmental interaction (4.4%), as well as the use of
sociological diagnostics and forecasting methods (2.2%). Without them it is
dicult to count on eectiveness of innovations and ongoing reforms, since
they should be based on real assessments of the emerging interaction system
for participants in foreign economic activity and customs authorities.
Assessing the overall positive implementation of information
technologies in the work of customs authorities in terms of reducing the time
for customs operations (61%), primarily due to introduction of electronic
declaration mechanisms and the “single window”, experts pointed to
a number of factors that reduce eectiveness of this process. The most
signicant among them there are: imperfection of electronic technologies
themselves: their complexity, bulkiness, inaccessibility for understanding
and use (22,2%); the lack of a unied information system for interactions,
traders and regulatory authorities as a necessary condition of eective
inter-agency cooperation in electronic communications (15,6%); problems
of funding (13,6%); the lack of qualied personnel (12,3%); imperfection
of the legal framework for Russian customs system as a system focused on
new information (e-digital) technology (10,1%).
The introduction of information technologies in organizational and
managerial activities of Russian customs bodies can help to solve another
problem – the lack of trust of Russian participants in foreign economic
activity to the customs authorities.