New customs code to help Russia in joining WTO

The passing of Russia's new customs code will be a substantial argument for the country's joining the World Trade Organization, said Mikhail Vanin, head of the Russian state customs committee at a World Customs Organization seminar that opened in Moscow on Monday.

The draft code has recently been adopted in the Russian parliament in the first reading. It is based on the clauses of the new version of the International convention on simplifying and harmonizing customs procedures, adopted in June 1999. However, this version of the Kyoto convention has not yet come into force, as only 10 out of the 40 required countries have joined it so far.

Russia has not joined the new version either, but it has already "started the process", Vanin said. He believes that this move will increase Russian partners' trust towards the country.

Delegates from 19 East European and former USSR countries are taking part in the Moscow seminar.

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