Russian Customs set for overhaul

RUSSIA’S notoriously challenging Customs service is set for a much-needed overhaul.

Russia’s president Dmitry Medvedev recently admitted the current system is flawed and was discouraging potential investors. He cited too much redtape, long delays and fluctuating costs as primary problems.

Russia claims its Customs officials physically inspect over 40 per cent of shipments, which can take about five days. This compares to under five per cent for Germany, the UK and the US.

“Expenses related to crossing the border are sometimes unpredictable, and lead to refusal of placing new manufacturing in Russia,” Medvedev said. “These problems also concern domestic manufacturers, including potential exporters of hi-tech products. All this puts us into a very grave environment.”

Out of 183 countries Russia is ranked 120 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey and 162 in the Trading Across Borders index.

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