The Federal Customs Service could have to change some of its internal regulations that bog down foreign trade, following Russia's accession to the WTO.
The service's regulations for determining the cost of imported goods are a far cry from WTO standards, said Mikhail Kozlov, customs services chief at Swiss-based international logistics company AsstrA. Cost issues "take a lot of effort" in customs clearance, he said.
He answered positively when asked whether the internal regulations will have to be changed in the event that Russia becomes a WTO member, which is expected in the middle of next year.
Dmitry Nekrasov, chief of the Federal Customs Service's department for customs clearance, said Wednesday that Russia complies with WTO requirements on the legislature level, but the service will work to bring its day-to-day operations up to the standards.
"The legislative base has been created," he said at a news conference. "We will work to improve our practice."
Kozlov said Russia will have to pursue the changes through the agency that operates the customs union that Russia formed with Belarus and Kazakhstan.
In other customs-clearance changes, Russia committed to cut the maximum customs clearance fee to 30,000 rubles ($970) from the current 100,000 rubles.
Kozlov said that would still be a concession to Russia on the part of the WTO. European Union countries, he said, don't charge anything for customs clearance.
The Federal Customs Service operates on state funding and shouldn't charge extra fees, he said.