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Growing alarm over Russia TIR plan

[ August 2, 2013   //   ]

More industry representatives have added their concerns over Russian plans to suspend the TIR system.

The forwarders’ associations umbrella body CLECAT has joined the British International Freight Association in raising concerns over Russian threats to suspend TIR arrangements for trucks transiting its territory. In a letter to the UK’s HM Revenue & Customs on 30 July, BIFA warned that the Russian Federation was considering additional guarantee measures for goods moving under TIR carnets from 14 August, according to a communication from the Russian Government to the European Commission.

The problem had arisen, said BIFA, because Russia’s own Association of International Road Carriers, which issues TIR carnets in Russia, has not paid 20 billion roubles-worth (about £400 million) of customs duties as required under the TIR Convention.

Now CLECAT has written to the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs expressing its concerns over the issue, saying that there could be serious disruption to trade through border delays and increased costs due to the high price of national guarantees.

The International Road Transport Union (IRU) added that Russian customs had also based its decision on figures for TIR claims that did not correspond at all to its own data as reported every year to the United Nations and audited by International Auditors.

EU Taxation and Customs Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta wrote to the Russian Customs chief asking him to reconsider warning that, if implemented, it will be in breach of the TIR Convention.

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