The World Bank approved a $140m loan to Russia for the Customs Development Project, the Moscow office of the bank reported. "The project will significantly support the State Customs Committee's implementation of the three-year Targeted Program for the development of customs, and is intended to help increase trust in customs administration in Russia," Task Manager for the project Carlos Ferreira said.
The main objective of the project is to support reform and modernization of the Russian customs administration, including aligning the customs institutions, their organization, and procedures to international practice. The project will promote internationally acceptable conditions for international trade by adopting customs standards, modernizing the IT infrastructure of the State Customs Committee, and instituting e-Government facilities for information and interaction with the trade community, including electronic filing of declarations. Additionally, it is necessary to increase the efficiency of the customs service, to reduce the compliance burden imposed on traders, and to increase taxpayer compliance with and uniformity of application of the Customs Code.
The project has a total cost of $187.2m, of which $140m will be financed by the World Bank, and $47.2m will be counterpart financing provided by Russia.
The terms of the loan include a 5-year grace period and 17 years' maturity.
Since Russia joined the World Bank in 1992, commitments to the country total to more than $13bn for 56 operations.