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VISUALLY VERSION
10.11.2006 The Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation holds consultations withmotor carriers

On November 10, 2006, the Administration of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation held a meeting with domestic motor carriers, represented by the management officials of the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) and by directors of a number of motor transport enterprises of Russia. The issue for discussions was a tangled situation, which took place at the North-West border crossing points, as well as seeking for ways out.

In his opening address, Vladimir Malinin, Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation stated that the problem of freight transportation had aggravated within few latest months in the North-West of the state border of the Russian Federation, in particular, at the motor vehicle crossing points of “Burachki”, “Ubylinka”, “Brusnitchnoye” and “Torfyanovka”. This problem has already been highlighted by press and on television. However, its settlement requires coordinated measures of all parties involved in this situation, including customs authorities and motor carriers. In this regard, V.Malinin informed the participants that according to the State Customs Committee of Belarus, the Belorussian party was ready to resume previous practice of international motor vehicle Russia-bound freight operations.

 On the threshold of these discussions, Viktor Dyachenko, Head of Central Administration of Customs Control (CACC) of the Federal Customs Authorities of the of Russian Federation, defined those steps, which had already been taken by customs authorities with the purpose of normalization of the situation at the crossing points, including those on the Russian-Latvian border. In particular, he earmarked the increasing number of jobs at the problem crossing points, which, to some extent, resulted in positive effect.

 Work is underway to implement new information technologies. Local radio stations, assisted by direct participation of Russian customs authorities, regularly provide truck drivers with real-time information in respect of the situation at the crossing points. However, as of today, according to Head of the Central Administration of Customs Control (CACC), those crossing points, which took upon themselves the main burden of customs clearance of export-import EC-oriented deliveries, have already reached their maximum design capacities. Their traffic carrying capacity is exhausted. In this connection, further increase of staff of officers of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, engaged in customs clearance operations will not result in substantial positive effect. It is necessary to take pivotal decisions, including setting up of up-to-date motor vehicle border crossing points, retrofitting of already functioning but obsolete ones, equipping them with new facilities and technologies, substantial betterment of adjacent traffic infrastructure, optimization of their operation, including optimization based on creation of a common database of all state supervisory agencies, performing incumbent functions at the inspection border line.

 On their part, representatives of Russian motor carriers and the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) presented their own vision of the causes, which had led to the current situation, obstacles and problems, which they came across in their day-to-day operations. And, in their opinion, it was far from being the case that the blame should be placed upon customs authorities. Thus, problems still persist with regard to lack of coordination between supervising agencies, operating on the inspection line of crossing points, write-up values, services, provided and even imposed by individual businesses, involved in customs clearance of incoming freight. Based on the above, management officials of the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) and directors of motor transport enterprises proposed to elaborate a number of measures, which could eliminate some of the problems mentioned above.

In particular, they proposed to be more active in implementing the system of electronic declaring, redistribution of a greater part of customs control load, placing it upon inland customs houses, to make maximum use of facilities, provided by the procedure of inland customs transit and by IRT books (International Road Traffic books), to conduct examination of existing border crossing points, as well as to use more extensively European experience of customs clearance at the state border. Besides, management officials of the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) considered it practicable to determine up to 10 (ten) main border crossing points, which reequipping would allow for substantial weakening of the problem, related to crossing of the Russian border by freights, transported by motor vehicles. Thereupon, management officials of the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) proposed to resume activities of the workgroup, consisting of representatives of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP).

 In his closing address, Vladimir Malinin, Deputy Head of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation, emphasized practicality of the successful exchange of views.

Furthermore, the discussion of the backlog of problems would allow elaboration of joint actions both on the part of the Russian customs agency, the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP) and domestic motor carriers. However, it was evident that all those actions would require time and additional financial support. At the same time, with a view to solution of burning problems, it was resolved to set up a joint commission, consisting of representatives of the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation and the Association of International Motor Carriers (ASMAP).