Russia's customs changes, FedEx and rivals pull out

By Freddie Pierce
FedEx Express and other top shippers have had to pull out of business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer shipping into Russia after authorities there...

FedEx Express and other top shippers have had to pull out of business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer shipping into Russia after authorities there made chances to customer procedures.

A statement from global logistics giant FedEx reads: “Russian customs authorities informed us earlier in January that dutiable goods shipments destined to private individuals in Russia would no longer be cleared by express clearance processes. This situation was not unique to FedEx and impacts all express carriers. FedEx temporarily suspended goods shipments to individual. FedEx continues to transport documents to individuals and all business-to-business transit.

“After a January 28 meeting between the Express Associations and Russian Customs, we are pleased that there is an agreement in principle to implement a simplified clearance process for goods moving to private individuals in Russia. We expect to resume full service to individuals as soon as possible.

“FedEx Express remains committed to providing excellent customer service and we are treating the resumption of service as a top priority.”

It is believd that DHL has also out it shipping into Russiaon the back burner and other shippers are also consideringbringingin service suspensions.

TNT Express however, has said its services to Russia remain unaffected.

A terse statement from the Netherlands-based courier said: “TNT Express continues to offer its international delivery service to and from Russia without additional restrictions. Customers can continue to use all our services as normal. TNT Express strictly complies with all customs rules and regulations.”

WNDirect, which specialises in Ecommerce deliveries and was only formed in 2011, claimed that “As it stands wnDirect is the only carrier already complying with the new requirements and, therefore the only carrier who will be able to process and clear Russia customs.”

A statement on the company’s website said: “Recent legislative developments will make sales in this region (Russia) more difficult. According to the authorities all B2C traffic entering Russia will require more stringent ID checks with immediate effect.”

Stuart Hill, Managing Director of wnDirect said: “We already had the systems and processes in place to effectively collect proof of ID and handle the other customs regulations already built into our system. So it’s business as usual for us. In co-operation with our in-country partner, SPSR, we are in a unique position to be able to clear goods into Russia.”

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