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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Lifts Gold Export Ban

Russia's Industry and Trade Ministry removed its ban on exports of precious metals by Russian commercial banks on Tuesday, a ministry official said.

"During the day, all customs posts will receive letters, saying that the temporary blockade of banks' licenses has been lifted," Dmitry Sukhoparov, head of the ministry's department for regulation of external economic activities, said.

Last Wednesday, a ministry source said it had issued an order blocking exports of precious metals by Russian commercial banks from June 22, as they were considered in breach of the law.

Sukhoparov said that the halt was caused by purely technical problems, resulting from contradictory clauses in Russian laws.

Russian legislation allows the ministry to issue licenses for commodity exports.

As gold was not regarded a commodity, the ministry thought it was not supposed to issue licenses, Sukhoparov said.

"The apparent contradiction between legal documents regulating precious metals exports will be eliminated shortly and the corresponding regulations amended," he said.

In an apparent move to ensure that such a snafu does not occur again, the government moved Tuesday to allow banks to export gold with only a license from the Central Bank, said Dmitry Ignatiyev, head of the gold section of the Association of Russian Banks.

Ignatiyev said it was enough for a commercial bank to posses a Central Bank license to be able to export gold.

The decree will also include a provision for the Foreign Trade Ministry, in conjunction with the Finance Ministry, to license other gold market participants to export the metal in a bid to ope the market up more.