The first checkpoint for foreign small craft and yachts in Russia has been opened in Kronstadt, St. Petersburg. The terminal for customs and border control has been created at Fort Constantine.
The checkpoint is equipped with a double corridor system, with customs officials promising to only use the technical control facilities if necessary. The average time for processing people and baggage is 10 minutes; processing for small craft and yachts should take no more than 30 minutes. In addition, there is a hotel and restaurant at the terminal, for the comfort of travelers.
The new location of the customs control is about 19 miles closer to the border, which allows a wider selection of anchoring spots without losing time on return. In the two months between its technical launch and its official opening, the checkpoint has already admitted around 300 yachts bearing foreign flags.
“Previously, the Bolshoi Port of St. Petersburg processed this many small craft and yachts in a year,” said the governor of St. Petersburg, Georgiy Poltavchenko, at the opening ceremony. “Now the ‘window to Europe,’ first opened by Peter the Great, will be flung open even wider.”
In turn, Peter Barinov, the captain of the Bolshoi Port of St. Petersburg, noted that the checkpoint at Fort Constantine, which is specially equipped for small craft, pleasure boats and sport yachts, is the first of its kind in Russia.
According to Mikhail Smolkin, head of the Northwest Territorial Administration of Rosgranitsa, there are plans to open at least 13 more such checkpoints, though their locations have not yet been revealed.
First published in Russian in Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
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