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Customs and excise

Below you will find a summary of the customs and excise laws on the Russian market.

Customs legislation in Russia requires goods transported over the Russian border to comply with all the requirements demanded by the customs administration. These requirements include terms and conditions for the payment of taxes, various restriction laws within each product sector, and local regulations of the Russian regions.

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Basic arrangements

Basic arrangements allow transit, export and production for domestic consumption. The most important custom regulation is enabling import of goods for further consumption in Russia. The arrangement envisages payment of all required taxes and fees, as well as economic constraints established by the customs legislation.

Due to the fact that export implies that goods are exported from countries on a permanent basis, the exporter is not required to return any goods. However, there are a few instances in which exported goods may be reintroduced into Russia. In these instances one may make use of other custom procedures such as reimport, which is based on the fact that exported goods can obtain status as being imported.

The status of transit shipment only applies to foreign goods, which are not to be consumed in Russia. In principle the transit begins when the goods cross the state boarder and ends when they exit Russia. Economic restrictions do not apply to this type of transaction due to the fact that duties and taxes are not collected.

Economic custom arrangements deal with import of goods in and outside of the custom zone, processing for domestic consumption, introduction of goods in the custom zone within a limited time, customs and bonded warehouse arrangements.

Processing within the custom zone arrangement involves import of goods into the custom zone for processing and subsequent removal of the due date on refined products. The same goes for items that are not subjected to duties and taxes. Though in case processed goods are not removed on time, the exception loses its force and obliges the company to pay duties and taxes.

Processing of goods for domestic consumption requires clearance of goods to be carried out within the time limit in the customs area and for goods to be consumed domestically. Thus the duties and taxes are to be paid in accordance with fee rates on processed goods.

Processing of goods outside the customs area implies processing of Russian goods outside of Russia and import of processed goods. In this case incentives to import duties and taxes are given.

Import of goods for a limited period arrangement allows import of goods to Russia within specific sectors, however, for a limited time. The importer is not required to pay duties and taxes, but when the time limit expires, the goods must be out of the customs area without delay. An example of this arrangement could for example be transport.

Bonded warehouse arrangement allows importing goods into the customs area even if the customs requirements are not fully established. It is a temporary arrangement which in the meantime gives the importer the opportunity to prepare all the necessary paperwork and find out which customs arrangement is best suited. While the goods are in the bonded warehouse, the carrier is not charged duties.

Final custom arrangements

Final custom arrangements include destruction, re – import, refusal and re - export. These arrangements are characterized as final, but may in some cases be combined with other arrangements.

Re – import: according to the Russian customs legislation, this arrangement gives the possibility of bringing previously exported goods into the country without paying duties and taxes. Re - import implies other types of customs arrangements, and temporary export of goods and processing outside the customs area in particular.

Re – export: This procedure is used when goods are re-exported in cases of inconsistency in the contract, cover letter, etc. The arrangement is widely used in re-completion of the bonded warehouse arrangement.

Destruction: this arrangement allows for destruction of imported goods which have reached an expiration date or have been damaged during transport. Disposal must be carried out under the supervision of the customs authorities.

Rejection to the benefit of the state: this arrangement implies certain foreign goods to be handed over to federal ownership without payment of duties. This can only happen if completion of import to Russia is not justifiable from an economic point of view.

Special customs arrangements

Special customs arrangements may involve temporary exports, duty-free commerce, and transport of supplies. The above mentioned procedures are aimed at non-financial objectives and are mostly used by the customs authorities, airlines, military and other customs organisations.

Temporary export arrangement involves export of Russian goods outside the country border and their re-import at favorable terms. The system is often used for international relations within culture, science and the like.

Free Trade makes the exemption from duties and taxes on the import of goods sold in duty-free shops for people who travel outside Russia.

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The Trade Council at the embassy can be contacted daily between 09:15 and 17:00 - Friday till 16:00 (GMT +3)


Tel: +7 (495) 642 6800
Fax: +7 (495) 775 0197