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The Russian Ministry of Transport has approved the requirements for the operators of navigation seals through which the Federation authorities will monitor the transit of cargo from Europe to third countries. This means that as soon as the list of operators is compiled, the transport of goods under the embargo can take place through Russia regularly. This will probably happen in the first quarter of 2020.

Russia allowed the transit of sanctioned goods on 1 July 2019 on condition that it will take place under the watchful eye of the services, with electronic navigation seals to help the authorities. Meanwhile, the requirements and the process of assembly and disassembly of such equipment was approved by the authorities only half a year later, in late December. From 7 January, transit was to take place only after prior notification and sealing, but the process was stopped. The authorities have neither approved the guidelines for seal operators nor put the IT system into operation.

Now Russia has approved the implementing legislation. As agreed, only representatives of approved operators will be able to perform the assembly and disassembly of seals. The list of authorised entities is to be announced in the current quarter.

Initially, it was supposed to be one company, a subsidiary of Płaton, but eventually, the Ministry abandoned the idea. Now it is known that there will be more operators and that they will be companies registered in the Russian Federation. Interestingly, a company offering truck monitoring services should have at its disposal 15,000 navigation seals, produced in Russia, and a developed IT system that is able to ‘handle’ 80,000 transports per year.

Rostransnadzor, i.e. the Federal Transport Supervisory Service and the FTS, the Customs Service, will also have access to these systems. By October 2020, the authorities will set up a single transport safety information system that will collect all information on operators and transports. For the time being, operators will be transmitting the data on the transports manually.

Transit of goods through Russia with seals – what has changed?

Seals will have to be paid for: the carrier, cargo owner or ordering party can pay for the service. Unfortunately, the rates are not known yet.

For now, there are two possibilities: either it will be one fee for the whole process of monitoring the transit through Russia, or several fees for each activity, including assembly and disassembly and renting a monitoring device. In the case of transport from Ukraine to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, an additional deposit for the device was set – 30,000 roubles, or about €420.

The assembly and disassembly of seals will take place only at the crossings approved by the authorities. There are a total of 17 of them, including three control points on the border with Belarus.


Border crossing points with the possibility of installing and removing navigation seals

Russia-Estonia border

– Narva – Ivangorod

Russia-Latvia border

– Terehova – Burachki

– Grebneva – Ubylinka

Russia-Ukraine border

– Katerynivka – Krupiec

– Bachivsk – Troyebortnoye

– Yunakivka – Sudzha

– Hoptivka – Nekhoteyevka

– Senkivka – Novi Yurkovychi

Russia-Mongolia border

– Kyakhta – Altanbulag

Russia-Azerbaijan border

– Yarag – Kazmalyar

Russia-Georgia border

– Stepantsminda – Verkhniy Lars

Russia-Finland border

– Nuijamaa – Brusnichoye

– Vaalimaa – Torfyanovka 

When installing and removing seals, it is mandatory that an officer of the customs service or Rostransnadznadzor must be present. It is also up to them to decide to inspect and remove the seal when the truck is en route. No one else can do it.

A carrier who wants to carry out an order to transport embargoed goods must select an operator no later than 2 hours before the truck enters the checkpoint and provide all necessary data about the company, truck, cargo and date of entry and exit from Russia in the system. 

Fines for lack of seals are not provided for, but the prohibited goods can be confiscated and destroyed, as the transport of sanctioned products without a proper tracking device is prohibited.


Navigation seals in transit through Russia

The electronic navigation seal based on GLONASS technology allows real-time monitoring of a vehicle moving through Russia. In the event of damage or unplanned opening of the semi-trailer, the operator will be notified immediately. Every two hours, seals transmit data to the system such as vehicle position, speed, current date and time. Thanks to this, the goods covered by the embargo will not „fall” somewhere along the way in the Federation.

According to the calculation of the Russian Ministry of Transport, the implementation of a truck sealing system will increase the volume of transit transport through Russia by at least 80 thousand. per year .

Currently, the embargo has been extended until 31 December 2020. As announced by the Russian authorities, if the European Union and the United States do not withdraw their sanctions, the ban on western food will be extended for another year.

Photo: CRPC


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