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Russia threatens to suspend TIR

[ July 31, 2013   //   ]

Russia is threatening to suspend TIR arrangements for trucks transiting its territory, according to the British International Freight Association (BIFA). In a letter to HM Revenue & Customs, BIFA warns that the Russian Federation is 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 appears to have arisen, says 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. However, says BIFA, “whilst appreciating that all governments need to protect revenue, we feel that any measures taken should be against the transgressors to punish them; not against trade as a whole.”

BIFA further points out that Russian exporters will also suffer because their hauliers will also be barred from using the TIR system.

Moscow’s action is also contrary to the Strategic Framework for customs co-operation signed with the EU in 2010.

BIFA is urging HMRC to lobby the Russian authorities to change their decision.

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