Saturday, 9 July 2011

Russian post fears delays thanks to customs

Long before anyone starts worrying about sending Christmas cards and expecting parcels stuffed with presents, the Russian postal service Pochta Rossii has washed its hands of delays in international deliveries.

But customs officials say the mailmen’s dire warnings are nothing but a misunderstanding, and new legislation should not affect delivery times.

“The procedure of handling express cargoes in temporary storage warehouses currently used by DHL Express, won’t change in principle,” Yuri Shevchenko, Russian operation director, explained.

International courier services also say no delays in deliveries are to happen due to the new rules, arguing it makes no difference to them.

And same will apply to other companies providing door-to-door services.

“Company TNT Express is an express-shipping company, and not a postal service operator, so the novelty won’t change anything in the way it operates,” the company’s press-service told ComNews.

The state-run postal service published an official statement, which said that “an extension of delivery times for international shipments was unavoidable due to the new regulations”.

The new rules demand that all international shipments go into temporary storage if they have not been declared to customs.

They fear that this will wipe out recent improvements in the service and claim the legislation breaches international postal laws.

Under the present system, state-run Pochta Rossii can complete all the formalities inside 24 hours, but a spokesman said that it could take up to six months to move parcels on once the new rules are in force.

The Russian Customs service has sought to allay fears over numerous delays, issuing a statement message saying that the time shipments spend in storage won’t affect the time taken by customs proceedings.

“Goods will be released no later than one working day after they are delivered to the customs body for clearance,” the statement read.

Representatives met postal bosses to clear the air, according to the customs website.

Earlier, customs staff gave short shrift to the idea that delays were linked to their work.

“Responsibility for loss of international mailing items, any damage, shortfall of enclosures, non-delivery and failures to meet the terms of deliveries lies on postal administrations, according to the Universal Postal Convention. In Russia these functions are performed by Pochta Rossii,” a statement said.

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