Free trade agreement with five CIS countries enters into force for Moldova

According to the Black Sea Association of National News Agencies, the free trade agreement with the CIS member countries that was  signed in St Petersburg in 2011  entered into force for Moldova in 2013. So far the agreement has been ratified by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.

The new variant of the agreement on the trade zone within CIS implies the facilitation of the regional trade through the improvement of the trade relations between the signatory states, maintenance of the zero customs duties on over 10,000 groups of goods, gradual removing the fees on products with exception from the free trade regime, as well as failure of new restrictions in commerce. Due to the new agreement, the number of existent bilateral agreements on trade relations with the CIS countries is reduced. At the same time, the agreement sees mechanisms for settling the trade litigations within the WTO platform and in the limit of mechanisms and procedures accepted by the sides.

Also, the agreement sees the maintenance of the export customs duties on gas, raw material for heavy industry and wood from Russia. Exception from the free trade regime is for sugar with Ukraine.

The document sees provisions similar to the other agreements concluded by Moldova within the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), adjusted to the specifics of trade relations within the CIS, and with some improvement that will contribute to ensuring a stable framework with the CIS states via a juridical basis simplified for the trade operations, and a higher level of transparency, by including some provisions adjusted to the WTO agreements.

The head of the general department for trade policies of the Economics Ministry, Inga Ionesii, stated that  “the entrance into force of the agreement will dynamize the regional trade relations, will facilitate drawing investments, as well as the exchange of technologies and innovations between the signatory states, CIS members”.

Qingdao Dispatch Situation Update, October 24th

Our Chinese agents advised us that the current dispatch situation at the railway statition Qingdao is not very optimistic. After the holiday, the disagreement between Railway Bureaus was somewhat relieved by the Ministry of Railways.

However, with the current stock in Qingdao of 1,900 FEU,  it can be expected that the whole volume will be dispatched only after 60+ days.

We will continue to keep you informed. Please be guided accordingly

Rail Stoppage at Shenzen Station in China

Our Chinese agents have advised us that due to congestion at Alashankou, Guangdong Railway Bureau has announced a stoppage at Shenzhen station from  20.10-31.10 for all type of containers. We are checking if there will be stoppage/delays at other Guangdong stations, such as Foshan, Guangzhou,etc.  RCL Agencies continues to monitor the situation and will keep you updated. Please be guided accordingly.

Qingdao Port Update

According to the information received by our Chinese partners it has been10 days since Qingdao has dispatched transport wagons. At the current moment, Qingdao port is storing 1500 FEU, while Lianyungang –  2,800 FEU. The port will try to dispatch as many containers as possible during the 8 -day National Holiday from September 30th till October 8th.

Please be guided accordingly.

Update on the Russian/CIS rail delays via China

Please be advised of a situation on the Chinese – Russian border. Our Chinese agents have informed us that the entire Chinese Railway is affected, due to a conflict between Langzhou Railway Bureau and Wulumuqi Railway Bureau regarding railcar distribution .  China Railways also issued a dispatch control order from Sep 1st-11th, which affected dispatches at Qingdao and Lianyungang.

Currently,  Qingdao port is storing approximately 1000 FEU and it will take 3 weeks to dispatch them. At the same time, Lianyungang is storing 2,500 FEU and it will take more than one month to dispatch them.  It is unlikely that  last year’s congestion will repeat itself – the recent jam in Alashankou is a minor one and the current cargo volume in ports is much lower than last year.

Qingdao Railway Bureau is doing their best to resolve this issue, and plans  to dispatch more rail cars in the last week of September to take the advantage of the 8 day public holiday in China (Sep 30 – Oct 7).

Please contact RCL if you have any questions about this issue.


New Requirements for China Railways

Our Chinese agents have advised us of new requirements for shipping via China’s railways.  In order to pair up 2×20’containers on the same railcar we must meet the following newly imposed criteria from China Railways:

1. Weight difference between the 2 containers must be less than 6MT

2. Both containers must be going to the same final station of destination

China Railways are usually very strict about the weight difference and many clients are aware of this problem and ship 20′ containers strictly in pairs, which greatly reduces the total amount of single containers available to make a pair. Any solo 20’ container has to wait for an unacceptably long time for another 20′ or the customer is forced to reload into 40’ctr.

Please note that RCL will not be able to accept any single 20’containers, except for cargo destined to Almaty-1 (700007) and Chukursay (720000). However, even to those stations we highly recommend you to ship only in pairs.

Please be guided accordingly. For more information please contact RCL representative.


Russia has become a Member of WTO

Director of the Department of Trade Negotiations Ministry of Economic Development Maxim Medvedkov announced that beginning 23 August, the Russian Federation legally will  become the 156th member of  the World Trade Organization (WTO). Russia has completed the domestic ratification procedures necessary to join the WTO after 18 years of  negotiations

According to Ria News,  Russia’s membership in the WTO requires the country to bring its trade laws and practices into compliance with WTO rules and other trade liberalization policies. Starting August 23, Russia will have to eliminate agriculture export subsidies, enforce intellectual property rights, increase transparency and  reduce the import duties which were raised during the 2009 crisis, including those for new cars.

Membership will require Russia to liberalize market access, and lower its final legally-binding tariff ceiling to 7.8% from a 2011 average of 10%, for all products. The average tariff ceiling will be 10.8% for agriculture products (13.2% currently) and 7.3% for manufactured goods (down from 9.5% currently).

Russia’s acceptance into the WTO is viewed as benefiting to American businesses.  Lower tariffs, greater predictability, and trade reforms and enforcement mechanisms will increase export and foreign investment opportunities.

Do you have shipments into Russia?  RCL has extensive experience shipping to Russia and the CIS region.   Call or email us today for a quote or for more information on shipments to this area!

New Regulation for International Road Transportation in Uzbekistan

Our partner Maxx International has provided us with a clarification regarding international road transportation in Uzbekistan.

According to a note from the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent to Foreign Embassies and Representations in Tashkent, up until July 31 transports will continue to be handled via an additional fee collected at the border for entry of all import/transit road transports. However, as from August 1st, all entry of foreign trucks to Uzbekistan will be forbidden without  special permission, which should be obtained via Ministry of Transport of Uzbekistan.

RCL Agencies has decades of experience shipping into this region, and our knowledgeable staff  can help you avoid problems caused by changing requirements.  Call or email us today for a quote!