1. Measures aiming to Facilitate the Cross-border Movement of Relief and Essential Supplies
1.1. The Federal Customs Service of Russia has established green lanes to ensure fast clearance of food, relief and essential supplies. Extra priority is provided to processing of any goods relating to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. For imported relief and essential supplies, green lanes are provided to minimize the clearance time.
1.2. To Customs authorities there was sent a special instruction based on risk management not to apply additional forms of customs control where customs inspections are not obligatory or necessary.
1.3. The Federal Customs Service of Russia has introduced significant facilitative measures concerning requirements of compliance to technical regulations and sanitary standards during COVID 19 pandemic.
1.4. Facilitation measures and aimed at the security and supporting continuity of the relief consignments on the basis of a list of essential items (sanitary products, medical devices/equipment and food). The Federal Customs Service of Russia has prioritized the clearance of relief consignments at the border crossing points:
Ultimately, customs clearance has been completely prioritized for relief goods in terms of COVID-19 pandemic countermeasures.
2. Measures aiming at Supporting the Economy and Sustaining Supply Chain Continuity
2.1. The Customs authorities adopted a decision concerning the import duties and VAT exemption on imported goods targeted to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (protective equipment, testing kits or medical devices such as ventilators). The Federal Customs Service of Russia has introduced temporary tax relief measures such as lowering of import customs duties on medical supplies, sanitary products, testing kits, protective and medical equipment etc.
2.2. Moreover, there has been introduced temporary tax relief measures such as lowering of value-added tax on food (vegetables, rye, rice, buckwheat, child nutrition etc.).
2.3. To guarantee the supply chain continuity The Federal Customs Service of Russia has introduced several measures. There have been introduced certain facilitation measures to speed up the customs clearance and subsequent procedures for goods in transit. The local customs authorities have designated priority entry for vehicles in customs control zone and priority lanes for freight transport.
To tackle the virus outbreak and to suggest a rapid response in case of the interruption of the supply chain there has been held a daily monitoring and analysis of the clearance of:
Likewise, there has been held a daily monitoring of the freight transport quantity and occurrence of queues at border crossings across the country.
3. Measures aiming at Protecting Customs administrations’ Staff
3.1. Customs authorities were instructed to have their staff working in shifts in order to prevent spreading of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Customs Administration took strict measures for protection, based on social distancing principles. All non-first line officers work from home. Field customs officers have reduced staff numbers to minimize interaction.
3.2. Personal protective equipment is distributed among staff (masks, gloves, antiseptic agents, etc.)
4. Measures aiming at Protecting Society
4.1. There have been introduced certain facilitation measures to ease the movement of medical personnel across borders. The customs authorities responsible for receiving, registration and release of goods declarations, have organized internal distribution of goods declarations among staff for imported essential goods in order of priority.
5. Other Measures
5.1. According to Government decision more than 90% of all on-site customs inspections were cancelled (as of 06/05/2020). FCS Russia conducts on-site customs inspections that are based only on information about significant violation of legislation.
Following our last update on Russia, members are advised that the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe border crossing point will only open after consultations between relevant authorities in Russia and China are concluded, and after restrictions caused by Covid-19 pandemic are removed.
On 20 May, the Russian Ministry of Transport announced that starting from 25 May a new land border crossing point will open in Kani-Kurgan, in the Amur region on the border with China. The border crossing point will be operating on a temporary basis, only allowing cross-border movement of goods at first. The projected capacity is 190 vehicles per day and its opening will reduce the workload at other border crossing points with China. Controls will start as soon as the bridge connecting Blagoveshchensk (RUS) and Heihe (CHN) is opened to traffic.
Source: Russian Ministry of Transport
On 29 April, the Russian Government amended the Governmental Decree of 16 March 2020 No.635. The amendment, presented in the Governmental Decree of 29 April 2020 No.1170, extends the closure of the Russian borders for an indefinite period, including the border with Belarus. Therefore, borders will remain closed until the epidemiological situation returns to normal.
Truck drivers remain exempt from this provision.
Source: IRU Moscow office
On 28 April 2020, the Russian President announced the extension of measures to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological safety of the population in connection with the spread of the coronavirus infection, and extended the 'non-working' period until 11 May.
The movement of any person or transport in the city of Moscow or the surrounding region must obtain a special digital permit. Exemption is granted to international freight transport in the Moscow surrounding region at any time of day, and in the city of Moscow during the night (22:00-06:00). Entry into the city of Moscow during daytime hours (06:00-22:00) will only be permitted for those in the possession of a special HGV permit (regulated by Moscow Government Order of 22 August 2011 No.379-ПП).
In its continued effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the territory of the Russian Federation, the Russian Government has issued the Decree of 27 March 2020 No. 763 which temporarily restricts any movements through road, rail, pedestrian, rivers and combined border-crossing points, including the overland section at the Russia-Belarus border. This decision is effective from 30 March 2020.
The above restrictions do not apply to truck drivers engaged in international road transport of goods (paragraph 2). This provision is valid for citizens of the Russian Federation and for foreign truck drivers (paragraph 2 clause 2 of the Government Decree of March 16, 2020 No. 635 followed by amendments introduced by Government Decree of March 25, 2020 No. 730).
At a meeting of the State Commission on the sustainability and development of the Russian economy, it was decided to temporarily allow the use of on-board units making payments to the Platon Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) for paying toll charges over the next 90 calendar days from the date of expiration of their service (verification) with the possibility to extend this period.
On 25 March, the Russian President addressed the nation and officially declared next week (28 March - 5 April) non-business week for all across Russia. Passenger transport and international road transport are exempted from the provision.
Source of information: ASMAP and Russian government
24 March 2020
According to the Directive of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation No.7 of 18 March 2020, all persons arriving from abroad at the territory of the Russian Federation must be quarantined for 14 days.
On 23 March 2020, further clarification from the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Russian Federation followed, which provided a clear exception for drivers engaged in international goods transport.
It is, however, obligatory for drivers to use/wear individual protective equipment and follow personal hygiene rules.
From 20 March onwards, for a period of one month, the Russian Government has cancelled all restrictions (including customs) on the supply of basic consumer goods and a “green corridor” has been established for importers and large retail chains. A zero rate of customs duties has been levied on the import of a number of goods, including medicines and medical products.
The Federal Transportation Inspection Service of the Russian Federation (Rostransnadzor) has announced that from 21 March to 25 April 2020, the weight control of vehicles transporting basic food and non-food consumer goods (foodstuffs, baby goods, medicines), in platform-type trailers and semi-trailers with tented sides, has been suspended.
This measure follows the Russian Government Plan of priority measures (actions) to ensure sustainable economic development in relation to the deteriorating situation caused by the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) infection.
Restrictions on crew members
Currently there's no specific restriction imposed on crews engaged in international transport operations in Russia.
Source: ASMAP and Russian competent authorities
The Russian federation is temporarily restricting the entry of foreign citizens and stateless persons, from 18 March 00:00 to 1 May 00:00 (Governmental Decree No. 635-р of 16 March 2020).
The entry restrictions will not apply to the following:
- vehicle drivers on international roads;
- crew members of aircrafts, ships/boats and international railway trains;
- members of official delegations;
- persons with diplomatic, service or ordinary private visas that were issued in connection with the death of a close relative;
- persons either permanently living in the Russian Federation or travelling through air border crossing points.
The current decree establishes a unified approach towards the border crossing of Russia and substitutes other legal acts adopted earlier in this regard.
The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Mikhail Mishustin, has announced that with effect from 20 March, 2020, all restrictions (including customs restrictions) on the supply of essential goods will be lifted for one month.
Mr Mishustin said, “We are introducing a "green corridor" for importers and large retail chains. A zero customs duty rate is set for the import of a number of goods, including medicines and medical devices”.