Against the backdrop of the saga of the abolition of international road transport documents (TIR Carnets), Russia’s Federal Customs Service (FCS) has announced that it will start an experiment involving customs transit without the use of deposits from November 1, the SeaNews publication reports.

“Russian transport companies that have strong financial positions on the transport market, have their own fleets of vehicles equipped to transport goods under customs seal, and have been providing international transport services for several years can participate in the experiment. In addition, important arguments in favor of participation are an absence of violations of customs rules and an absence of unfulfilled obligations regarding payment of customs duties and fines,” the FCS said.

The publication suggests that this will apparently involve selection of a group of "reliable" carriers and creation of a sort of "green corridor" for them, similar to the one earlier created for importers and manufacturers.

Market participants are wary of this new initiative. Some believe that these will only provide nominal improvements while others believe that payment will have to be made for all the improvements. Some also believe that the FCS is liberalizing transport for only companies close to it.

The Association of International Road Carriers (ASMAP) told SeaNews that the FCS did not hold consultations with carriers on this experiment.

As reported, the Federal Customs Service stopped accepting TIR Carnets in its southern territorial division on October 28. As a result, trucks began piling up on the Russian-Ukrainian border. Ukraine is demanding clarification of Russia’s position.