Trucking body threatens to exclude Russia from customs system

GENEVA Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:18am EST

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GENEVA Feb 19 (Reuters) - The International Road Transport Union (IRU) warned President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that Russia could be excluded from an international system of customs guarantees unless Moscow scraps what it says are illegal border restrictions.

Dropping out of the system of "TIR" guarantees would raise costs for 40 percent of Russia's overall imports, which were worth $110 billion in 2013, the trucking body said in a statement.

It would also slow Russian container exports, in what IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto described as a "lose-lose scenario".

The IRU is an international organisation that runs the "TIR" system of customs guarantees, allowing truckers to seal their containers at departure and avoid lengthy customs checks on the way to their final destination.

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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