The World Bank announced the results on Tuesday of its Customs Development Project, which was designed to facilitate cross border trade between Russia and the European Union through customs modernization.
The CDP meant to address significant development challenges to spur Russia's economic recovery and accelerate growth in its cross-border trade. The program sought to reorient customs from a national security-focused organization to a trade-facilitating public service agency.
The World Bank's approach focused on a mix of finance, knowledge and hands-on technical assistance. Access to the World Bank's knowledge and other international expertise on customs and institutional reform helped Russia to institute reform. Russian officials were able to identify, adapt and apply appropriate international practices related to business processes, organizational restructuring, personnel policies, anti-corruption measures, user feedback and performance management
The CDP consequently contributed to increased client trust in customs services by promoting greater equity, efficiency, predictability, and transparency in implementing customs laws and regulations.
The number of import declarations selected for physical inspection at nine designated sites on Russia's northwest border declined from 30 in January 2003 to less than five percent in January. The number of non-energy export declarations selected for physical inspection at these nine sites decreased from 15 percent to three percent over the same period.
The average customs clearance time at the nine border sites declined from 45 minutes to less than 18 minutes, and the time between the lodging of a customs declaration to the issue of a release note at the designated sites dropped from from 40 hours to 6.5 hours.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development financed the project with a loan of $140 million.
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