The logistics services provider Rhenus is working very closely with the Russian customs authorities on a shortened customs procedure for selected customers at its customs and logistics terminal in the Smolensk region. The simplified procedure aims to cut the processing time to no more than 24 hours. Representatives of the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade, the Smolensk region administrative bodies and Rhenus Revival provided information about the abbreviated customs procedure and the cooperation between foreign companies operating in Russia and the Russian customs authorities at a press conference at the “TransRussia 2013” transport and logistics exhibition in Moscow.
Rhenus has nominated ten long-standing customers, which the Russian customs authorities are currently checking, for the simplified procedure. Once confirmation has been provided, several options are available for carrying out the shortened customs procedure. The customers nominated by Rhenus mainly operate in the automotive, industrial plant, medical engineering, textile industry and project business sectors.
“We’re delighted at the positive prospects at our terminal, which are also due to the good relationships with the Russian customs authorities and the support provided by the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade. The simplified procedure will minimise financial risks and provide greater reliability for planning work. It is crucially important in order to be able to meet the demands of our customers to have speedy import processes,” says Olaf Metzger, Managing Director of OOO Revival Express, giving his verdict.
The German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade is providing vital support in the imminent introduction of the shortened customs procedure. It advises German companies that are operating in the Russian market place. “We at the Chamber of Foreign Trade have been in very close and constructive contact with the Federal Customs Service in the Russian Federation for years. We therefore view the introduction of the simplified customs process partly as a result of our work,” says Jens Böhlmann, a member of the management team at the German-Russian Chamber of Foreign Trade.
The Rhenus bonded warehouse near Smolensk for short-term storage purposes was commissioned in February 2013. The number of customs officials working at the terminal is currently being increased from four to ten. The logistics services provider wants to see the number of customs officers working there increased again to 30 during the next few months.
“The settlement of Rhenus in the Smolensk district is boosting the business activities in our region in the long term. We’ve therefore provided the company with support in constructing its bonded warehouse from a political point of view and continue to be available for discussions even though the terminal has now been put into use,” says Viktor Kozhevnikov, Head of the Business Department in the Smolensk district.
Rhenus was the first international freight forwarder to open a customs and logistics terminal on the Belarusian/Russian border in the Smolensk district; the centre has been operating since the beginning of February this year and the site measures eight hectares. The centre has 2,200 square metres of storage space and 400 truck parking spaces. If required, the storage space can be gradually expanded to as much as 30,000 square metres. The Rhenus Group has its own customs broker licence in Russia to handle its customers’ imports and exports.
The Rhenus Group provides logistics services around the globe and has annual turnover amounting to EUR 4 billion. Rhenus employs over 24,000 people at more than 350 locations worldwide. The Rhenus business areas – Contract Logistics, Freight Logistics and Port Logistics – manage complex supply chains and provide a wealth of innovative value-added services.