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Protection of Society and the Environment

The importance of the role of the customs administration in the area of protection of society has recently increased. The events following September 11, 2001 accelerated this trend and emphasized the necessity of control of the international movement of goods. In this respect, the customs authorities are also competent to control the transfer of software and dual-use technology by electronic means. The customs administration also performs activities in the framework of the national radiation monitoring network, consis-ting particularly in measuring radionuclide contamination of persons, means of transport, goods, objects and materials. In this area, the customs authorities cooperate with other bodies of the state administration, especially with the State Office for Nuclear Safety. Protection is truly a key element in the work of the customs administration and is certainly not related to only the domestic market or the health and safety of individuals. In the area on protection of intellectual property rights the customs administration carries out controls which result in confiscation of illegal copies and counterfeits with a value of over a billion CZK annually. This is also related to the competence of the customs administration in the area of consumer protection, consisting in control of the general safety of products. For products proposed for release into the procedure of free circulation, emphasis is placed primarily on whether the product or series of products exhibit characteristics that could constitute serious and imminent danger to the health of the consumer. This applies, e.g., to toys, drugs, foodstuff and similar products, which must be accompanied by a document confirming their safety. The customs authorities also control whether the product is labelled with the appropriate labelling in accordance with the valid legal regulations. The customs administration has also important obligations related to protection of the national cultural heritage, especially in control of the export of cultural memorials, items from collections, objects of cultural value and archive materials. Control is also carried out of compliance with a preliminary consent of the Ministry of Culture or of the Government and of whether a cultural memorial or national cultural memorial that is exhibited, lent or for other purposes exported or sent from the territory of the CR was returned from abroad in good condition. Supervision of the customs authorities over compliance with the Washington Convention CITES on protection of species of wild fauna and flora is a very important area with global dimensions. The Czech Republic signed this Convention in 1992 and thus pledged to comply with the rules governing transport and trade in protected species of fauna and flora. The close cooperation of the Czech customs authorities with the Ministry of the Environment and the individual environmental inspectorates at a regional level also contributes to their successful work in this area.  International cooperation in the framework of the World Customs Organization is of fundamental importance. The area of control of the transport and packaging or reproduction material of forest tree species is also a very important area of nature protection entrusted to the customs authorities. The control role of customs officers in the import, export and transit of substances depleting the ozone layer of the Earth and substances damaging the air is also very significant.
This page was published on: 12/11/2009 12:25 PM
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