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    RUSSIAN CUSTOMS TO REDUCE IMPORT INSPECTIONS TO 10% BY 2008

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 6, 2004 (RIA NOVOSTI) - The Russian Customs is planning to bring import inspections down to 10 percent of their current number in four years' time, Leonid Ukhlinov, head of the customs clearance automation unit, told a Moscow press conference Tuesday.

    The reduction will be possible to make after a project to upgrade the Russian Customs' information systems has been implemented by the year 2008, Ukhlinov said. In 2006, halfway through the project, the number of import inspections will likely decrease to 30 percent.

    The number of export inspections is also to be reduced by 2008, to a prospective 8 percent of the current figure.

    In 2003, the World Bank disbursed some $140 million for the project to upgrade the Russian Customs' information systems. This project envisages, among other things, the development and introduction of new procedures for customs clearance and control, the renovation of hardware, and the training of customs personnel.

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