RIGA - Russia’s Federal Customs Service has decided to impose stricter control regulations on Latvian trucking companies, saying the move is necessary to protect Russia’s commercial interests, reports news agency LETA. “In order to prevent damage to the economic interests of the Russian Federation, the Federal Customs Service plans to impose additional customs control regulations for controlling the goods and vehicles of Latvian cargo carriers,” announced the customs office.
The Service’s officials explain that such measures were necessary due to “systematic breaches of customs regulations” by Latvian cargo carriers in Russia. They claim that in the first 11 months of this year alone these breaches have caused around 800,000 lats (1.1 million euros) in losses to the Russian budget.
Representatives of the customs service say that they warned their Latvian counterparts about the situation already back in August, and then again in October, urging the Latvian side to stop breaking the rules and to pay their debt to Russia. No improvements followed, they insist. Internet portal rosbalt.ru says that the Latvian Customs Administration did not warn Latvia’s truckers on the possible problems at Russia’s border, which it says is a situation confirmed by several Latvian truck drivers.
The enhanced security measures and more thorough checks of trucks coming in from Latvia will be similar to the measures that were applied to Lithuanian trucks earlier this summer. Due to a longer document and vehicle checking procedure, it is likely that a back-up of trucks from Latvia will start to grow on the Latvia- Russia border. This will force the Latvian government to pay more attention to problems with Latvia’s truckers and to start negotiations with Russia to jointly seek solutions for the ‘problem,’ says rosbalt.ru.