Duma Passes New Customs Code

The Russian State Duma, or the lower parliamentary house, has adopted a new customs code of the Russian Federation.

The new code offers new business opportunities, Mikhail Vanin, Russian State Customs Committee /GTK/ chief, said as meeting spokesmen for the union of producers and importers.

The new code is "more civilised and transparent than the one currently in force," said Mr. Vanin.

While preparing the code for the third reading, MPs and the Cabinet agreed nearly on all the aspects, said Aleksandr Zhukov, in charge of the Duma budget committee. The Cabinet and the Duma's related committee have come to a complete agreement on the code, he said.

GTK deputy chief Yury Azarov made it a point that the new customs code would help revive Russia's foreign trade. The philosophy of the code is that foreign traders should stand to gain from working legally, he said.

The code will simplify and shorten customs procedures, which are currently like "weights" hindering commodity movements and foreign trade at large, he said.

Moreover, the new code outlines clear requirements for bona fide traders who will be allowed to direct goods right to their own warehouses instead of customs shelters, according to Mr Azarov.

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