World Bank to grant credit for updating Russia's customs information system

The World Bank will extend a 140 million-dollar credit to bankroll a project for updating the information system of Russia's customs bodies.

The agreement has been signed in Moscow by Mikhail Vanin, head of the Russian State Customs Committee (GTK), and Giulian Schweitzer, World Bank Country Director for Russia.

The project will help handle three major goals -- simplification and speeding up of customs control, enhancement of the transparency and dependability of customs systems, increase in collection of customs payments.

"The project will pave the way for making a powerful headway", said the GTK head. "It is what is needed for administering the new Customs Code and joining the World Trade Organisation", he added.

Operation of the program will increase the efficiency of the customs service and produce a direct effect on getting additional revenue and boosting the economic growth, said Vanin. Now, the customs organs contribute an average of 134 million dollars to the national budget, he added.

An efficient and transparent customs system is what is needed for the modern economy. It is the basis for Russia's future entry in the World Trade Organisation, said Giulian Schweitzer. In his opinion, economic institutions enjoying investors' trust are to be established in Russia.

The credit will be repaid in 17 years with a five-year easy-term period at a 2-percent annual interest.

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