The TIR Executive Board (TIRExB) held its 59th session on 30 June and 1 July 2014, just hours before the announced termination of the guarantee agreement between the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation (FCS) and the national TIR guarantor (ASMAP).
The restrictions placed by FCS on the use of TIR Carnets on the territory of the Russian Federation have been a point of grave concern for all TIR Contracting Parties and intergovernmental bodies for the past year. The Board held its meeting in anticipation of information on what lies ahead for the application of the TIR Convention in the Russian Federation, until late in the afternoon of 30 June when news reached the Board that the existing guarantee agreement has been prolonged until 30 November 2014.
While the Board took note of the decision by FCS, it reiterated, with regret, that FCS continues to implement measures that contradict the provisions of the TIR Convention and which have grave consequences for international transport and trade as a whole.
TIRExB appealed to the government of the Russian Federation to restore the proper functioning of the TIR system on the whole territory of the Russian Federation, by lifting all current restrictions without further delay.
Note to editors
Since September 2013, the Russian Federation has unilaterally decided to no longer accept TIR carnets as sufficient customs duty guarantee. Consequently, transport operators hauling goods into Russia must obtain a new Russian guarantee to secure customs clearance. Based on a sample of actual costs from transport operators and after deducting savings for TIR carnets where relevant, it is estimated (Economic costs of the non-application of the TIR system by the Russian Federation, Copenhagen Economics, 28 March 2014) that the new measures introduced in the Russian Federation create an additional cost of up to USD 2.2 billion per year for the Russian economy. As a result of the new system, import into Russia by road is getting more expensive. Comparing with the value of goods transported, the direct cost associated with the new system is equivalent to an additional tariff of 0.6 per cent to 1.4 per cent for road transport entering into Russia. Ultimately, these costs will be passed on to the Russian economy and the new system will result in higher prices for Russian consumers.
In addition to direct costs, the new system also entails significant indirect costs. The uncertainty inherent in the system has led to an increased administrative burden of as much as 25 per cent. Furthermore, since the national guarantee, in contrast to the TIR system, does not provide any actual guarantee for the transport operators, there is an increased financial risk for the operators who risk economic losses or even bankruptcy.
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