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Russia submits a new proposal for a container decree

Russia submits a new proposal for a container decree

Press release 03.08.2009 13.11 fi en

Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Finland's Minister of Transport, has received a letter from Mr Igor Levitin, Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, telling that the Russian Customs Services has redrafted the proposal for a decree on container imports. The new draft was also discussed on 29 July at the meeting of Mr Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications, and Mr Sergei Aristov, Vice Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation.

Mr Aristov confirmed that the new draft decree would divide container transport into quotas and thus take all transport modes, road, sea and rail transport, better into account. He said that the Russian Ministry of Transport considers it important to maintain competitiveness between the different transport modes. The Russian Ministry of Transport has not yet taken an official stand on the new draft.

The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications has requested the Russian Transport Ministry to provide further information on the contents of the draft decree.

Background to the container decree

In spring 2009 the Russian Customs Services drafted the previous version of the decree, according to which all containers of 20 feet or more to be delivered to Russia should be carried by sea or rail. The decree was to apply to containers transported to Russia via Finland, Estonia, Latvia or Ukraine. The Russian Ministry of Transport objected to the draft decree.

It is Finland's view that Russia's announcement in the spring of its plan to submit an administrative decision to transfer container transport to rail and sea would be impossible to implement in the short term and would be against the principles of international business. The views of the Finnish Government were presented at an official meeting of the Finnish and Russian prime ministers and transport ministers in May and June.

Minister of Transport Vehviläinen also informed EU transport ministers of the draft decree, because the decree would significantly impede transport between the EU and Russia. The EU transport ministers objected to Russia's intention of transferring container imports to rail and sea routes only. In June the Commission of the European Union sent a letter to the Russian Government requesting it to reconsider the decree.

Further information:

Mr Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 500 787 742
Ms Silja Ruokola, Director of Unit for Logistics and Russia Cooperation, tel. +358 40 580 0894