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Customs service eyes creating mobile groups to control imports of goods banned in Russia

September 24, 2014, 19:30 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Chief of the Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov noted that imports of goods banned from entry to Russia had recently increased in Belarus and Kazakhstan
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MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Federal Customs Service suggests that special mobile groups be set up to exercise control over flows of sanctioned goods to the countries of the Customs Union (Belarus and Kazakhstan), chief of the Customs Service Andrei Belyaninov said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, Belyaninov noted that imports of goods banned from entry to Russia had recently increased in Belarus and Kazakhstan. “But we cannot exclude that such goods may later freely reach Russia,” he said. “In a bid to minimize this threat, we have referred a proposal to the Russian government and agencies concerned, such as the interior ministry, the federal veterinary and phytosanitary authority (Rosselkhoznadzor), and the border service, to set up joint mobile groups to exercise control in areas in the vicinity of Russia’s borders with Belarus and Kazakhstan,” he said, adding that such groups should be coordinated by the interior ministry and Rosselkhoznadzor.

He said that after Russia imposed a ban on imports of food products from the United States, the European Union, Norway, Canada and Australia (on August 7, 2014), Russian customs agencies had prevented illegal imports of 736 batches weighing more than 18,000 tonnes. A total of 98 administrative offense cases had been opened over imports of 138 million rubles ($3.6 million) worth of sanctioned goods with an aggregate weight of 300 tonnes.

According to Belyaninov, the bulk of such cases had been reported in imports via Belarus by motor and railway transport.

“We report a 4.5-fold increase of import of apples from Serbia and Ukraine, a 1.8-fold increase of import of peaches from Macedonia and Serbia. Imports of peaches from Turkey have jumped by 72 times,” he said.

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