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Timber Imports Not Slowed By New Russian Customs Rules

The cut in the number of border customs processing points by Russian officials has not yet slowed the import of raw timber.

In northern parts of the country, the paperwork has to be taken hundreds of kilometres for processing, but for the time being shipments themselves still following previous routes.

In March, Russian authorities cut the number of localities where customs documentation can be handled by nearly half. The northernmost place on the border where customs officers can pass exports from Russia is at Kostomuksa.

The director Finland's eastern customs district, Tommi Kivilaakso, says that for the most part Russian officials have accepted documents for loads of timber crossing the border.

New discussions on customs practice are underway, and the Finnish goal to for Russian authorities to reinstate customs processing at the international border crossing points at Kuusamo, Salla and Raja-Jooseppi. Timber is an important import item at all three. Last year around 200 000 cubic metres of timber were imported from Russia via these three border crossing points.

Timber imports from Russian Karelia are at a standstill at present due to road disrepair.

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