Sunday, July 15, 2018

Medvedev confronted on customs clearance operations

German industrialist Dieter Siempelkamp confronted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about Russia's cumbersome customs clearance this week at the Innoprom high-tech industry forum in Yekaterinburg.

Siempelkamp, the chairman of Siempelkamp Group, a manufacturer of wood processing and other industrial machines, said that the process delays his business of exporting and installing equipment, according to the Moscow Times.

"Sometimes we have to halt installation because we wait for parts that sit at customs for several weeks," Siempelkamp said, The Moscow Times reports. "The procedure that we have to follow at customs is very complicated and it is growing more complicated."

Medvedev conceded that the Federal Customs Service remained corrupt and ineffective despite attempts to change it for the better. He said that the government is looking to find a better balance between the agency's duties of filling the budget and regulating foreign trade.

"The customs service must do both, but in what proportion?" Medvedev said, according to the Moscow Times. "What is more important for the state: an open road for business, new jobs, new production units, and supply of the needed parts, or the fiscal goal?"

The president of Siemens in Russia and Central Asia also commented on the process, saying that customs duties made it cheaper to export finished products to Russia, such as energy turbines and trains, which are then assembled locally from imported components. He argued that this also creates jobs.