Express Couriers Mull End of Imports for Individuals

Some of the world's biggest express delivery firms could stop delivering goods from abroad to private individuals in Russia out of frustration with new customs regulations that they say are inflating delivery times and damaging the quality of their service.

Vedomosti reported Thursday that the Association of Express Delivery Companies sent letters to clients of DHL, DPD, Pony Express, TNT, FedEx and UPS telling them that deliveries were being halted this month.

However, the general director of Pony Express said that they have no plans to suspend deliveries, and the association's president, Vladimir Sarkisov, said that the letter was just a draft.

The letter said that the decision to curtail imports was linked to changes to regulations that have apparently led to increased processing times at customs and, therefore, less-than-express delivery times.

Yury Shevchenko, vice president of operations for DHL Express Russia, told The Moscow Times on Thursday that his company had limited deliveries to private individuals since 2010, and will entirely stop delivering goods to such customers on Jan. 27.

The number of customs documents required for delivering express goods increased this month and other new requirements were introduced, Shevchenko said.

"Under these circumstances, the volume of incoming express cargo significantly exceeds the amount of goods being released into free circulation," he said. "In order to maintain our high standards, the company has decided to stop importing goods for individuals."

U.S. package consolidation service MyUS.com, which described the embargo as temporary, said that FedEx would stop delivering private parcels from Jan. 22.

DPD earlier said in a statement that it was halting deliveries to private persons in Russia on Jan. 9, 2014.

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