Interview 02/19

Fast, Safe and Automatic

Rhenus is a customs expert for Russian imports and exports

Rhenus has been operating a unique customs and logistics terminal in Smolensk on the border between Belarus and Russia since 2013. This is not only the base where the “Green Customs Corridor” pilot project is being developed to provide a simplified customs clearance procedure for Russian imports. A customs clearance centre for the chemical industry is also being built there at the moment. Olaf Metzger, Managing Director of OOO Rhenus Freight Logistics, and Carsten Hölzer, Managing Director of Rhenus Freight Sales, talk about electronic customs declarations and the new solution known as “Customs Control Tower”.

Mr Metzger, what has changed at the terminal in Smolensk since it was opened?
Metzger: Customs clearance is not shielded from digitalisation either. We’re now working entirely with electronic declarations, for example. In this context, we’ve tested a simplified customs procedure where the customs declaration is automatically registered and cleared as part of a pilot project. It’s been a great success: we now offer this procedure to all our customers at the business site.

Mr Hölzer, you also opened a new hazardous goods warehouse at the site in 2019. Are you responding to a market trend in doing this?
Hölzer: Definitely; Russia has been increasingly focusing on agricultural production for several years now. This not only means more transportation of equipment and machines, but we’re noticing a greater demand for pesticides too. This is only one aspect of a growing development in the chemical industry. We’re taking this into account with our latest extension in Smolensk: an interim storage facility for chemical goods directly at the customs terminal site.

And what makes Rhenus the pioneer there?
Metzger: There are only a few bonded warehouses in Russia that meet the requirements set by the Russian authorities in terms of fire and environmental protection as well as compliance. Rhenus works with the highest quality standards and has the necessary experience to guarantee that goods are imported safely there right now. We’ve now pooled this expertise in a new solution for our customers.

Correct, the “Customs Control Tower”. What’s that all about?
Hölzer: We often have to handle goods that require various additional safety and control measures in the chemical industry. Using our “Customs Control Tower” solution, we can handle the complete coordination, clearance and documentation of the customs activities along the entire supply chain. The customer also has full control and absolute transparency about its customs clearance at the same time.
Metzger: We also offer various value-added services – for example, evaluating the transport data in a central system. We’re able to combine both digitalisation and automation with a focus on the chemical industry and also specialise in customs clearance; we’ve combined all these core areas of expertise for our customers at Smolensk.

Hazardous goods warehouse in Smolensk
5 separate, temperature-controlled storage boxes (each box is the equivalent of a truckload)
Licence for customs clearance, storage and all operations with goods in hazard class 3 (varnishes, paints, solvents)

Olaf MetzgerOlaf Metzger
Managing Director of OOO Rhenus Freight Logistics

 

 

 

Carsten HölzerCarsten Hölzer
Managing Director of Rhenus Freight Sales

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