MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti) – International express delivery companies including DHL and FedEx announced they would stop shipping goods to Russia because of new customs clearance rules, the Prime business news agency reported.
The Association of Express Carriers, which comprises Russian and international delivery companies like DHL, Pony Express, TNT, FedEx, UPS and others, said in a statement Thursday that its members were being forced to halt deliveries for private individuals as a result of new stricter customs requirements for goods crossing the Russian border that have led to delays in delivery.
“DHL Express has decided to completely stop deliveries to Russia of all goods for personal use starting from January 27, 2014,” said the company’s vice president of operations in Russia, Yury Shevchenko.
A representative of FedEx’s customer services department also confirmed the changes.
“Starting from January 21, it is forbidden to bring in cargo for individuals; only documents are allowed. This is due to new rules introduced by the Russian customs service,” she said.
UPS has not halted deliveries, but warned its customers to expect increased delivery times.
Russia’s Federal Customs Service denied it had toughened customs clearance rules and said it had issued “no new documents concerning the rules of processing such goods.”
“At present, customs authorities, including the customs department of the Moscow aviation hub, are ready to accept and process without delay all parcels being delivered to individuals by express delivery companies if they are submitted for customs clearance as required by the law,” the authority said in a statement.
Updates with comment by Russia’s customs service