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Crimean wine producers to resume deliveries to continental Russia via the Strait of Kerch

March 28, 2014, 18:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Crimean excise goods will enter Russia via authorized checkpoints, set up at the Russian Central Excise Customs, avoiding transit customs procedures and Ukrainian customs

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The Legends of Crimea factory

The Legends of Crimea factory

© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Pavlishak

MOSCOW, March 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Crimea is resuming its wine supplies to Russia on March 31 thanks to permission from the Federal Customs Service, Crimean wine makers told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“We are ready to resume deliveries as of Monday,” Mikhail Shtyrlin, the head of the Legends of Crimea group of companies, said.

Crimean excise goods will enter Russia via authorized checkpoints, set up at the Russian Central Excise Customs, avoiding transit customs procedures and Ukrainian customs.

The regime will be effective till January 1, 2015 until Crimean wine makers do not switch over to Russian excise stamps, Shtyrlin said with reference to a letter signed by Andrei Belyaninov, the head of the Russian Federal Customs Service on facilitation of entry of excise products made in Crimea and Sevastopol into Russia’s customs territory.

Deliveries will be made across the Strait of Kerch because Ukraine has closed all customs transit routes for Crimean goods via its territory, Belyaninov explained.

“We have solved the problem very quickly. If there are no difficulties at the crossing, wine will reach Moscow quicker,” Shtyrlin went on to say.

The Legends of Crimea was forced to suspend its wine deliveries to Russia on March 20, 2014 after Ukraine had switched off the Crimean and Sevastopol regional customs offices from Ukraine’s unified customs database, thus making it impossible for the wines to cross the Ukrainian border.

The Russian Federal Service for the Regulation of Alcohol Market has started the re-registration of Ukrainian licenses of participants in the Crimean market of alcoholic drinks.

Meanwhile, Andrei Belyaninov, the head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, said earlier this week that the geography of Russia’s foreign trade could change thanks to Crimean ports.

“I am sure that Russia will have new partners because it has obtained a great number of ports together with Crimea’s incorporation. They include two deep-water ports like Sevastopol and Yevpatoriya,” Belyaninov said in an interview with Itar-Tass and CrimeaInform news agencies after his visit to the Crimean peninsula on March 26.

Belyaninov said the trade with Russia accounted for a huge share in Crimea’s foreign trade. Those figures automatically fell out of Crimea’s foreign trade statistics after the peninsula’s incorporation into Russia.

The Federal Customs Service chief noted a temporary decline in Crimea’s trade with other foreign partners who were watching how the political situation was unfolding on the peninsula.

“It is absolutely clear that Crimea is Russian and will remain such forever. So the question when trade is going to reach its former volumes is just a matter of time,” Belyaninov said.

He found it hard to say what trade volumes could go through the Crimean customs in a short-term perspective.

“I cannot give you any concrete figures. The situation is changing daily like a kaleidoscope. Let us wait for a month before we draw any approximate forecasts,” Belyaninov went on to say. He has no doubt that the Crimean customs would be self-supporting.

“It will certainly bring revenues to the budget. The question is how large they are going to be and when that’s going to happen?” Belyaninov said in conclusion.

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