Customs Chief Concerned Over Duties Collection

Head of the Russian customs authority Andrei Belyaninov warned on Wednesday that a slump in imports over the summer months could make it harder for his agency to fulfill its commitments to the budget, Interfax reported.

The customs chief said the agency has filled federal coffers with 4.3 trillion rubles ($130 billion) so far this year, but warned against optimism.

"Everyone has gotten used to our fulfilling our duty collection target every year," Belyaninov said. "I don't want to break that nice tradition. I'm sure we'll succeed this year, but it will be very difficult," he added.

Belyaninov said that imports are declining in terms of weight and value, and a drop this summer in vehicles can only partially be explained by a rise in domestic manufacturing.

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