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Russians postpone TIR exit – again

[ September 17, 2013   //   ]

The Russian Customs Service has once again postponed a threat to withdraw from the TIR bond system for road transport – this time to 1 December. However, it will withdraw TIR for goods travelling to and from its Siberia and far east customs areas.

The announcement came on 13 September, the day before it was due to exit TIR. Russian Customs had originally said that it would leave the TIR system in mid-August.

Russian Customs is embroiled in a dispute with its TIR carnet issuiong authoity, the Association of International Road Carriers, over an alleged 20 billion roubles-worth (£400m) of unpaid duty.

However, it has faced overwhelming pressure from business interests inside and outside Russia, who argued that ending ending TIR would lead to chaos at Russia’s road borders. In early September, International Road Transport Union (IRU) president Janusz Lacny even wrote to Russian president Vladimir Putin asking him to intervene.

In a statement, the IRU said that it hoped that TIR procedures would operate as normal for most of Russia but “nevertheless, practical problems cannot be excluded at any Russian border.” Transport operators driving to, from and across Russia are encouraged to take note of the IRU’s recommendations in the event that TIR Carnets are illegally refused by some Russian Customs officers. (www.iru.org)

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