| GENEVA, June 30
GENEVA, June 30 Russia's Customs Service made a
last-minute concession on Monday to stop Russia from being
ejected by a U.N.-backed customs system that has expedited
European trucking for 60 years.
The TIR system speeds up cross-border trade because it
allows trucks to be sealed when they start their journey and to
cross multiple borders without undergoing customs checks, saving
time and money.
But the system relies on mutual recognition of national
trucking bodies, which Russia had jeopardised by announcing that
it would replace its national body, ASMAP, with Rostek, a
subsidiary of Russian Customs that charged higher fees.
On Monday, the International Road Transport Union, which
runs TIR, said Russia's Federal Customs Service had officially
extended ASMAP's mandate until Nov. 30. Russia's Customs Service
had been under pressure from the Economy, Finance and Transport
Without ASMAP, European trucks arriving in Russia would have
faced higher costs and long waits at the border. But crossing
Russia's border is still not likely to be plain sailing straight
away, the IRU said.
"Considering this very late announcement from the FCS RF
(Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation) and the lack
of available details, practical problems are still likely to
take place at border-crossing points in Russia over the next few
days," the IRU said in a statement.
($1 = 33.9599 Russian Rubles)
(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Larry King)