Customs in Kaluga

Thanks to the establishment of a customs post at Volvo Truck’s Kaluga factory, South West of Moscow, the waiting time for customs clearance of incoming trailers has been reduced from an average of three days to 8.5 hours.

- The waiting time could even last as long as up to ten days, now the Volvo Customs Department handles 45-55 trailers per day, says Mike Medden, Country Manager Russia, Volvo Group Logistic Services. The record is 92 trailers in one day, which is about four minutes per declaration. It is no exaggeration to say that savings in time and money are considerable.

All kinds of goods
The customs post has been operational since June 2011 and is manned with six customs officers. Volvo has an Open Excise Customs License which means all kinds of goods can be cleared here. All inbound goods to the Kaluga truck factory from Gent, Lyon and Gothenburg are handled here, as well as the Volvo CE machines from Poland and the CBUs from Belgium and Sweden.

- We are most satisfied with what has been achieved in Kaluga, Anders Lindström, General Manager Logistics at Volvo Trucks (until April 1), says. The cooperation with the customs authorities works very well.

Only customs post on site
Volvo is the only manufacturer who has its own Excise Customs Post on site. How come Volvo has succeeded where others have failed?

- At the beginning of the Kaluga project I soon realized that if we were to succeed in Russia, we had to win over the customs authorities, Mike Medden says. The only safe way of doing that is to involve them in the problem solving and talk to them - not at them. Remember it is their country, not ours.

The Volvo way
Thus, instead of complaining about bureaucracy the team started a dialogue with the authorities and provided tools to speed up the customs process.

- We never demanded anything but treated them in the same way we would like to be treated ourselves. By treating them in the Volvo way we gained respect for each other and now have a very good cooperation, Mike Medden concludes.