Fabian Demicoli

Doing business with Russia: You might encounter some issues with customs


GRTU has been
made aware of important developments in relation to EU-Russia trade,
particularly as regards road customs clearances and operations. In the coming
weeks, importers and exporters of freight to Russia may be facing increasing
difficulties when dealing with the Russian customs authorities.

Up until
this point, customs operations for road transport vehicles have been covered by
the TIR convention, an international customs transit system which provides road
hauliers with reduced administrative burdens and guarantees through the use of
the internationally recognised TIR carnets. 
However, the Russian customs authorities are currently implementing
restrictive customs measures which are in breach with the TIR convention. These
measures would de facto mean the end of the TIR system in Russia, and it is
expected that, starting on 1 December 2013, all road transport operators
relying on TIR carnets will no longer be accepted in Russia. 

Even
though, the Supreme Arbitration Court of Russia has rendered a legally-binding
decision making these restrictions illegal, the Russian government does not
seem inclined nor willing to take action. European road hauliers will have to
adapt to an alternative system which is currently still unknown. This will
inevitably increase red-tape and legal uncertainty for European businesses
wishing to import or export freight to the country.

In
practice, these protectionist measures will push European road hauliers to stop
delivering to Russia, thus globally impacting trade flows between the EU and the
Russian Federation.  

EuroCommerce
raised its concerns to the European Commission (DG TRADE) during today's
conference on "Chemical Trade with Russia", co-organized with FECC – European
Association of Chemical Distributors. 

Kindly inform GRTU if you are affected in any way.

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