On Wednesday, Russia introduced a new procedure for export customs duties.
According to the State Customs Committee, new rules are being introduced by a government decree of July 16th called "On the Use of Export Customs Duties for Certain Goods Exported from the Customs Territory of the Russian Federation to the Customs Territory of Member States of the Customs Union." The decree rules that export duties should be collected in case if the contract on deliveries was reached between a resident and a non-resident of a member state of the Customs Union, which unites Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. No export duties will be collected in the course of commodity exchange between the countries mentioned.
Some of Russia's exporters used this rule to avoid customs duties by delivering goods and raw materials to third countries via the member states of the Customs Union. From now on, customs duties will be collected from every customer outside the Customs Union but acting on its territory, in case he is mentioned in the shipping documents.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969