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Business news, 01.04.2004 12:34

Cars are threatened to be barred from Tallink’ and ‘Silja Line’ ferryboats

Cars are to be barred from Tallink’ and ‘Silja Line’ ferryboats The ferryboat lines ‘Tallink’ and ‘Silja Line’ may lose their rights to carry vehicles since the Russians customs has advanced a claim to have a customs checkpoint at the closed joint-stock company ‘Morskoi Vokzal’ (Seaport Station), where the ferries will land.

The Customs and Boundary Committees were to sign on Tuesday had to sign the acceptance certificate for a renovated car checkpoint station in the Seaport Station. If both Committees fail signing the acceptance certificate, it would be quite hard for ‘Tallink’ and ‘Silja Line’ to perform.

“Now there is neither central heating, nor electricity, nor computers down in the checkpoint”, the Chief of the Customs Control Department of the non-commercial sector of the Baltic Customs Sergei Rusinka said. “If only we could get computers without being connected to the Baltic Customs network, we would register a certain number of cars, otherwise heavy workloads will not let us perform properly”, he said.

As the CEO of ‘Morskoi Vokzal’ Vladimir Malik put it, the existing passenger terminal was to serve 1 million tourists a year. The newly-built checkpoint is now going to carry just the cars of the passengers on board, but in the past the terminal was out of use, since the seaport used to receive only big cruisers and a ferryboat, called ‘Georg Ots’ with a minor load-carrying capacity. Today the seaport terminal expects 100 or 300 cars with every 1,000 passengers on the ferries. This year the new checkpoint is planning to serve 350 thousand passengers.

‘Morskoi Vokzal’ has spent $1 million from its own financial resources to reconstruct the checkpoint terminal necessary for putting the ferryboat lines into operation.

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