Logistics providers are about to find out what the latest Russian customs regulation will mean for their movement of goods into the country. Order No. 715 from the Federal Customs Service (FCS) signed on April 6th (to be administered 30 days following its publication) stipulates that imported goods that have cleared the customs process and are in temporary storage zones cannot be stored alongside goods still awaiting clearance. Instead they must now be moved from the terminal within 12 hours and either dispatched to a consignee or moved to a separate area outside the custom controlled zone. Previously, material was granted three concessionary days.
However, the regulation has yet to come into force and there as yet no official comment from the FSC. 
Some in the industry now feel that that the FCS has not properly considered the outcome of the order and have said it will be costly for operators because of the additional space required, the movement of goods to that space and the people needed to move them. There is also the risk of fines being applied to those who fail to comply within the required time. 
Futhermore, logistics companies operating at St Petersburg and Ust Luga are concerned that the new rules do not take into account how the situation might affect port activity. Alexander Goloviznin, deputy general director – Port Business at Ust-Luga Company told Automotive Logistics that currently it was difficult to predict what the impact on its operations would be. “Most probably we will have to arrange two different storage areas and move cargo after customs clearance,” he said.
But he went on to point out a wider problem with the FCS in its application of the new rule.
“The problem is that Customs understands operations when goods are imported by trucks and prepare their rules accordingly,” he said. “They do not understand how seaports function and do not like to adjust their rules for the needs of seaports.”
Konstantin Skovoroda, general director of Russian Transport Lines, said that it was difficult to know what the outcoume would be since the order hadn't been officially published, and there is as yet no enforcement from the customs. However, he said that such a regulation would lead to higher costs and longer waiting timings. 
"We think there is a real chance that the order can make the optimisation at ports more difficult, as it will add costs to supplementary goods replacement and also to growing port operations [with more land]," he said.
The move may also have wider implications for rolling cargo at the ports. While Höegh waits to find out how its movement of vehicles, high and heavy machinery and static equipment on mafi trailers are affected, a spokesman said that if the new order also led to a rise in container rates it could mean that those involved in moving rolling cargo in containers, such as used car importers, would move from container shipments back to ro-ro vessels.
Customs issues will be a feature of next week’s Automotive Logistics Russia conference which takes place between the 14-16 June in Moscow. More details are available here