The press secretaries complained about a lack of equipment, including video and photo-cameras and dictaphones, which does not allow their press services to receive information about the functioning of the customs departments in time. On certain occasions, the press services are not able to make this information available to journalists because it has been classified by heads of some customs terminals.
The subjective opinion of customs heads on journalists' mission, as well as their failure to understand the true tasks facing the customs service in the area of public relations are, according to the session's participants, a serious source of problems plaguing relations between the press and the customs service. For instance, Altai customs terminal spokesperson Olesya Matyukhina suggested that a great deal depends sometimes on the person heading a customs terminal - whether its head is friendly to journalists and editorial offices or not.
In the end, the participants in the session came to a conclusion that relations between the press and the customs service need to be changed. Journalists have to be more careful when handling information from customs departments, while press service officials need to convince their customs department's head to trust the press.
MOSCOW - New customs duties for the export of oil and oil products went into effect on Monday, with the higher price echelons seeing an increase in the tariff level.
These price-linked tariffs were set last month by administration decree as a result of increased prices on the international market, said Alexei Savenko, spokesperson with the State Customs Committee.
However, the market price of oil is now lower than when the decree was signed one month ago. For example, the benchmark crude Russia Urals currently hovers at a little more than $24.50 a ban-el; at the end of November, it traded at around $30 a barrel. This means that it slipped down a tax bracket to the 20-euro tariff levied when oil sells between $22.50 and $25.00 a barrel.
The increases only come into play when oil sells for more than $25 a barrel. Below this price, nothing changes. At the highest extreme, when the price of oil is more than $32.50, an export tariff of 48 euros ($45.35) per ton, or 6.67 euros per barrel, will be levied. This is up from 34 euros per ton.
"The tariff always depended on the overall prices," said Dmitry Avdeev, an oil analyst at United Financial Group, a brokerage. "This time, though, there is a kind of lag between the new oil price and the tariff rate."
MOSCOW, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday it considered the new customs regulations requiring that all goods entering Ukraine from Transdnestr have an official Moldovan stamp a political action.
According to the ministry, Chisinau's intentions were to take control of all foreign economic activities of the breakaway Moldovan region, undermine the bases of the regional budget formation and cause a social crisis.
The ministry said the new regulations disrupted transit trade and transport links via Transdnestr. inflicting losses on Ukraine, Moldova and southeast Europe.
Russia's State Duma and the Foreign Ministry said earlier that the Ukrainian decision, made at Chisinau's request, would seriously damage the Transdnestr economy. What Chisinau and Kiev are trying to present as an effort to put the border in order "means nothing less than the imposition of economic sanctions on Transdnestr in order to force it to surrender to possible solutions to the problem that actually breach the tepublic's right to special status as stipulated by international agreements," the Duma statement said.
Russian parliamentarians said the decision had damaged the Transdnestr conflict settlement by fueling political tensions around the issue. They also called for Ukraine and Moldova to lift the new restrictions and launch talks immediately, as stipulated in a 1997 memorandum.
A declaration from the Moldovan parliament described the situation in the region as "dangerous" and claimed that the breakaway region is "deliberately blocking any productive steps taken by Moldova and other participants of the negotiation process aimed at finding a peaceful and final resolution to the Transdnestr conflict."
The parliament also expressed disappointment that Russia, as an important part of the negotiation process, had not responded properly.
The Federal Customs Service herewith advises natural persons traveling by air:
I. When leaving Russia and prior to clearing the customs:
1. Make sure to fill out your (mandatory) customs declaration and follow the the red channel if you are carrying in your checked or carry-on baggage any or all of the following: Cash in excess of RUR 50,000.00 (500 minimum wages in accordance with the Federal Statute current as of October 22, 2003). In this case the amount exceeding the mandated RUR 50,000.00 is to be placed in a deposit account with the respective Federal Customs Service division as that exceeding the maximum allowed amount of RUR 50,000.00 only to be taken out of the Russian Federation as a lump sum;
Cash (foreign currency and Russian Rubles) exceeding an equivalent of USD 3,000.00 only but totaling no more than USD 10,000.00. Exportation of an amount exceeding the equivalent of USD 10,000.00 is allowed at the rate disclosed in the respective customs declaration, confirming previous importation of the above amount into the Russian Federation;
Securities, payment documents and instruments are allowed for exportation on condition of availability of a Form # 0406007 Certificate issued by an authorized bank or on the basis of a customs declaration as proof of their previous importation into the Russian Federation;
Traveler's Checks if their total amount exceeds the equivalent of USD 10,000.00 (less the amount of other valuables being exported);
Precious metals and stones in any form or state with the exception of temporarily exported jewelry, other household items or precious scrap;
Firearms, ammunition and explosives (firearms and ammunition for them are exported subject to a license issued by the respective Interior Ministry divisions);
Narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances or their equivalents;
Cultural valuables (musical instruments, paintings, sculptures, icons, ancient coins, medals and orders, postage stamps, and other items manufactured or issued 50 years ago or earlier) are allowed for exportation subject to a license issued by the RF Ministry' of Culture or on the basis of a customs declaration confirming an earlier importation of these items into the Russian Federation;
- If you have nothing to declare there will be no need for you to fill out a customs declaration and you can proceed along the green channel.
Please keep in mind that a customs declaration is non-renewable once lost and no copies of the same shall be issued. Providing false information in your customs declaration as well as failure to declare customs duty-liable goods results in liability under the current RF Law.
"Madam", said U.S. Customs Inspector Harry Standish quietly to the naughty angular woman whose several suitcases were spread open on the Customs inspection table between them, "are you quite sure you don't wish to change your story?"
She snapped back: " I suppose you're suggesting I should lie when I've already told you the truth".
Harry Standish ignored the second remark, as Customs officers were trained to ignore many insults they received and answered politely, "I'm not suggesting anything, madam. I merely asked if you wished to amend your statement about these items the dresses, the sweaters and the fur coat."
The American passport showed that she was Mrs. Harriet Du Barry Mossman. Harry Standish said: "I wonder if you'd mind signing this form. If you like, I'll explain it to you."
"Why should I sign anything?" Mrs. Harriet Du Barry Mossman demanded.
He answered patiently, "To make things easier for yourself, madam. We're merely asking you to confirm what you've already told us." "Suppose I refuse to sign?"
"Then we shall be obliged to detain you here while we continue the investigation."
There was the brief hesitation, then, "Very well. You fill out the form, I'll sign." "No, madam, you fill it out. Now here, please, describe the items and alongside where you say they were obtained, please, give the name of the stores; also from whom you received the fur coat as a gift."
"Madam," Inspector Standish said, "is there anything else you wish to declare?" It was Customs Bureau policy to give travellers the utmost opportunity to make voluntary declarations.
"In that case, Madam," Inspector Standish said, "Will you kindly open your handbag?"
For the first time the naughty woman betrayed uncertainty. "But surely purses are never inspected."
"Normally, they are not. But we do have the right." Mrs. Mossman was noticeably pale. The Inspector instructed the young Customs officer beside him: "Inspect everything very carefully. Check the things in the bag and cases, the seams and hems of all the clothes. Make a list. You know what to do."