Transit crisis looming?

  • 2004-03-25
  • From wire reports
RIGA - A spotlight has been thrown on legislative inadequacies and shortcomings in the attitude of civil servants, as representatives from Latvia's transit and logistics industry sent a cautionary letter to the country's prime minister last week.

On March 16 Prime Minister Indulis Emsis received a letter from those involved in the transit and logistics business that warned of problems that might arise after accession to the European Union if proper action were not taken.
The authors of the letter included associations involved in logistics and customs brokerage, freight forwarding, road transportation and the transit business.
According to their arguments, the prime minister should support the re-registration of existing customs and excise goods warehouses and postpone the decision to impose VAT on goods of EU origin stored in these warehouses.
The letter also urges Emsis to cancel the mandatory delivery documents that complicate the circulation of these goods among Latvian companies. Attention should also be given to boosting the country's capacity to handle veterinary trade as it currently makes up 10 percent of all transit freight, the Baltic News Service reported the associations as saying. To achieve this sanitary border inspection checkpoints need to be further developed as part of Latvia's customs infrastructure. If veterinary trade were stopped, according to the letter, the country would suffer approximately 35 million euros in losses.