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Situation over Ukraine’s railway cargoes detention at Russian border to be normalized soon

August 16, 2013, 18:58 UTC+3

Ukraine risks losing up to $2.5 billion

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SUZDAL, August 16 (Itar-Tass) - The situation over the detention of Ukrainian railway cargoes at the border with Russia will be normalized by the end of the day, head of Russia’s Federal Customs Service, Andrei Belyaninov, told journalists on Friday.

In his words, Russia’s Federal Customs Service has never violated any international liabilities imposing restrictions on imports from Ukraine. “I think Russia’s Federal Customs Service has acted within its competences and has never violated any international obligations,” he said. “If its actions have caused any problems to participants in foreign economic activity, I present apologies. We shall always by securing Russia’s economic interests.”

According to earlier reports, Ukrainian exporters have been having problems at the Russian customs posts since late July. Freight transport vehicles have to waste too much time at the border, hence the end price of products goes up. According to the Ukrainian Federation of Employers, Ukraine’s losses from the toughened customs control procedures may reach 2-2.5 billion U.S. dollars in the second half of this year.

According to Ukraine’s official statistics, Russia accounted for 24.7 percent of Ukrainian exports in the first six months of 2013. Ukraine’s overall exports in the first six months of this year stood at 30,742.7 million U.S. dollars, while imports totaled 34,963.1 million U.S. dollars.

In early July 2013, Russia announced plans to impose extra special customs dues on Ukraine’s chocolate, coal and glass in response to Ukraine’s special duties on imports of cars. Russia sent a notification to the World Trade Organization (WTO) saying that Ukraine’s car tax would incur damages to Russian car imports to a sum of 328 million U.S. dollars. Moreover, this move would not allow Russia to collect 36 million U.S. dollars in tax revenues. To compensate for these losses, Russia said it would reserve the right to collect customs dues in the amount of 0.1 euro per one kilogram of Ukrainian-made chocolate, 54 percent on coal imports, and 15 percent on glass. These duties may come into force upon agreement with other members of the Customs Union (Belarus and Kazakhstan). Apart from that, from July 29, 2013, Russia imposed non-tariff restrictions on imports of some other Ukrainian products. Thus, Russia’s consumer rights protection authority (Rozpotrebnadzor) imposed a ban on imports of confectionery manufactured by Ukraine’s Roshen corporation over non-compliance with Russian quality, marking and safety standards. According to Rospoterbnadzor specialists, Roshen-made milk chocolate has benzapyrene, a highly cancer inducing and bioaccumulated substance.

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