TransContainer Suggests Improving Customs Procedures to Reduce Container Downtime
PJSC TransContainer (part of Delo Group) notes the support rendered by the Russian Customs Authorities in the context of logistics restructuring.
"We see obvious improvements - simplification of customs control procedures, the will and desire of the customs authorities to ensure an increase in the capacity of border transfer stations, which are currently overloaded," said Victor Markov, First Vice President of TransContainer, during one of the sessions of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum - 2023.
With that in mind, the top manager thanked the Federal Customs Service of Russia and personally Ruslan Davydov, the acting head of the authority, for the work being done.
At the same time, Victor Markov reminded that currently import is the main driver of loaded container transportation growth in Russia (+54% for 5 months of 2023), and promotion of these products requires a number of additional measures in the field of customs activities. "We would ask to start working on them and consider the possibility of applying them in the future," he said.
According to the First Vice President of the company, first of all it is worth expanding the practice of transferring the inspection of goods placed under the customs transit procedure from the border-crossing points to the destination station.
TransContainer has already recorded a significant reduction in the number of customs inspections - from 1,350 in 2021 to 985 in 2022 at Russia's largest border-crossing point in Zabaikalsk. According to Victor Markov, the company hopes that in 2023 this number will be even lower. "We would suggest extending this practice to other railway border-crossing point - in particular, Naushki, Grodekovo and Kamyshovaya," he said in this regard.
In addition, Victor Markov remarks that it is important for container operators to solve the issue with the irrational use of containers upon arrest of goods that are subject of administrative offence.
“Unfortunately, the cases when goods are detained and customs authorities store them in containers are quite often. As a result, the equipment is idling together with the cargo. For example, 270 containers of our company were detained together with cargo at Vorsino station at the end of 2020, and to this day, that is almost for 3 years, the cargo is still in containers that are withdrawn from the turnover,” said the top manager.
In Victor Markov’s opinion, the possibility of adjusting Article 379 of the Customs Code by making provisions for the containers release from the seized property is worth considering in order to return the containers into the transportation process, “or at least, these actions should be approved by the containers owner.”
The First Vice President of TransContainer also noted that it would be worthwhile to provide for the possibility of changing the information declared in the transit declaration after release of goods. "The problem is very acute. We have a certain lack of capacity for processing cargoes transported under customs control on the territory of Moscow hub. And several times a year there arises a systematic problem with "abandoned" trains, because the destination station or place of uncommon use, where the cargo is directed to, cannot accept it due to technological limitations," he explained.
According to Victor Markov, in 2022 there was a critical quantity of 1,403 containers idling at Moscow hub for this reason: these containers could not be redirected to another destination station because it would be a violation of customs regulations. “We would like to suggest studying Article 112 of the Customs Code, which explicitly provides for the possibility and the right of the Eurasian Economic Commission to establish cases where it is allowed to make changes into the transit declaration upon closure of the customs procedure for the cargo release. In this regard, we consider it necessary to accelerate the development of the Procedure for amending the data declared in a transit declaration after the release of goods. We would ask to give this document a priority”, - said the top manager.