European and international Freight Forwarders associations CLECAT and FIATA call on Russian customs authorities to find a solution to the on-going conflict on the TIR System on the Russian territory. The organisations are concerned on the possible disruption to trade with Russia and other countries concerned by transit through Russian territory and stress on the need for all parties involved to ensure continuity of the TIR system to secure and facilitate trade.
Earlier this month the Russian Federal Customs service (FCS RF) announced that the additional guarantee measures foreseen by the Russian Federal Customs service (FCS RF) shall only apply in the Customs offices subordinate to the Siberian and Far Eastern regional Customs Departments. This provided some relieve to trade as it is expected that the TIR procedures will continue without interruption in full respect of the TIR Convention in all other Russian customs offices.
However, the fact that the Russian Federal Customs service has terminated its agreement with the national guaranteeing association as of 1 December 2013 has seriously aggravated the situation and has so far not been reviewed. The TIR Convention cannot be applied in a territory which is not covered by a national guaranteeing association, in the case of Russia, the Association of International Road Transport Carriers in Russia (ASMAP). The Federal Customs service in Russia has justified this step by referring to the outstanding debts of ASMAP. Regrettably, the Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation made the decision without prior notification or consultation, neither with the respective TIR stakeholders nor with the United Nations TIR bodies nor the UNECE.
FIATA and CLECAT express their concern on the fact that an interruption of the TIR system will most likely lead to a serious disruption of trade flows to and from Russia because of congestion at the borders, unnecessary waiting times and an increase of transport costs. FIATA and CLECAT urge all involved parties to return to the negotiating table and to take the necessary steps to find a wise and pragmatic solution to resolve the issues in accordance with the provisions of the TIR Convention.