30th May 2019, Skopje - The Republic of North Macedonia and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum on Exchange of Information and Knowledge for Suppression of Tax and Customs Crimes and Money Laundering between the two countries. The signatories of the Memorandum are Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of North Macedonia and its administrations, namely: the Public Revenue Office, the Customs Administration, the Financial Police and the Financial Intelligence Agency.

Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski pointed out that for the first time the country has a strategy for formalization of the informal economy and pointed out that the United Kingdom provides great support in the reform processes in the Ministry of Finance and the Administrations. He said that one of the Government's priorities is the suppression of the informal economy and corruption, and the signed memorandum will contribute to that objective.

HMRC Director Andrew Pavlinich pointed out that at the request of the Macedonian Customs Director General Tanasoski HMRC supported an initiative for data exchange between the Customs Administrations of North Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania, in line with the system of the World Customs Organization.

British Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia Rachel Galloway noted that the United Kingdom is investing in capacity building in the Western Balkans region. She noted that we should work together to combat cross-border crime. Galloway said that cooperation between authorities and customs administrations is crucial in developing a healthy and stable partnership, which will contribute to greater security and prosperity.

Customs Director Gjoko Tanasovski pointed out that the cooperation with the UK Customs Authorities has intensified over the last two years to support improvement of the existing and application of new operational techniques through exchange of information and best practices in the area of fight against crime, faster customs procedures and trade in general. Under the framework of cooperation with the United Kingdom, advanced training courses in the area of control, investigation and intelligence were organized, and specific search and detection equipment was donated.

Public Revenue Office Director Sanja Lukarevska stated that the Public Revenue Office implements several measures to prevent the outflow of funds from the budget.

Financial Intelligence Agency Director Blazo Trendafilov pointed out that money laundering and terrorist financing are one of the most complex criminal acts of proof. He pointed out that without the help of states such as the United Kingdom, which has a developed financial intelligence network, we as a state cannot collect quality evidence to prove money laundering and financing terrorism and detect big large-scale cases involving international criminal groups.

Financial Police Director Arafat Muaremi said that with the introduction of the new crime "Tax Fraud" the Administration is preparing for prevention and eradication of tax evasion and tax fraud, particularly with the entry of the Republic of North Macedonia in the European Union, when VAT tax refund will begin to be applied using invoices for purchased goods and services from countries of the European Union. He pointed out that in the past two years the Financial Police has been working hard to strengthen the interinstitutional coordination in the country, but also to promote international cooperation.

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