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Kaliningrad customs expresses regret over border traffic jams

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KALININGRAD, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The customs service in Russia's enclave of Kaliningrad said Friday it regretted the long queues at the region's borders that have occurred since the government raised import duties on used foreign cars and trucks.

"The Kaliningrad Region customs expresses its regret over the possible increased inconvenience for people planning to cross the border to head for Lithuania and Poland or enter Russia by car," the customs said.

The government's decision to raise import duties on used foreign cars and trucks, aimed at protecting domestic and foreign car producers in Russia amid the global credit crunch will come into force on January 12.

In reality, the duty on used cars will double, and triple for trucks.

The decision has led to an increase in those wishing to bring foreign-made cars into the Kaliningrad Region since early December as people try to avoid the January deadline.

The head of a public organization that protects motorists said a 33-year-old man had died on the Russian-Lithuanian border crossing Friday morning after spending several days waiting to cross the border.

Protests by motorists unhappy with the slow processing by customs periodically take place on the border.

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