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Importing and Exporting in Russia

Importing and Exporting in Russia

Updated on Monday 24th October 2016

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Being the largest country in the world by land mass grants Russia access to a variety of natural resources. It is no wonder most part of Russian exports consists of its natural gas, oil and metals, while the Russian imports have been lately focusing on advanced engineering, renewable energy, plastics, iron and steel, meat etc.

Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus united their customs in 2010 in an effort to later add here the World Trade Organization in August 2012. Consequently, the Russian custom valuation techniques are in conformity with WTO principles.

There are certain Russian certifications and licenses to be obtained for those companies which want to import or export goods in or from Russia. On the other hand, Russia offers special custom benefits and obligations to several countries which have signed special treaties.

Imports and exports in Russia

Russia is one of the largest exporters in the world, occupying the first position in the world when it comes to the export of natural resources like coal, and among the top exporters of oil and gas. Russia is also one of the largest exporter of cereals in the world. When it comes to imports, Russian companies have only started to import products such as machinery and equipment during the last few years. Russia’s main import and export partner is the European Union. Countries in the EU are also the greatest foreign investors in Russia.

Our Russian lawyers can assist foreign investors who want to set up trading companies in this country.

Custom duties

Russia`s main custom control body is the Federal Customs Service (FCS) and it is under the authority the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Its main prerogative is to implement Russia`s custom tax collection and to make sure importers and exporters comply with the Russian conventional embargos and limitation regarding goods moved across Russian borders

The WTO`s main goal is to have a system which is unbiased, constant and impartial and, by joining this organization in 2012, Russia aligned its valuation procedures to the same principles. However, there is still no clear process and certain unforeseen documents might sometimes be required.

Detailed information about the customs procedures in this country, you may receive from our lawyers in Russia.

Import and export duties in Russia

In Russia import duty applies to the majority of goods and varies as an average between 5% and 20% of the custom value of goods, but might even reach 45% in extreme cases. There are certain countries for which only base rates apply, reducing the expenses down to half as these countries have a special status as the "most favored nation of Russia".

Importing and exporting in Russia of some specific merchandises such as: transit goods, cultural valuables, humanitarian aids or personal use goods is convenient as these goods are not required to pay custom duties even if, for personal use goods there are some weight and value restrictions of approximately 35 kg. and EUR 1,500. There are countries parts of CIS(Commonwealth of Independent States) that are exempted from paying custom duties.

For all goods going through Russian customs there are certain Russian custom processing charges which can fluctuate between EUR 12 and EUR 2,400 depending on value and quantity and together with other ascribed payments have to be paid to the Russian customs and borders before submitting the declaration to customs and supported with documents of origin.

At this moment, Russia`s first trading partner is EU and if European citizens or any other type of expats are situated in Russia and reside there for more than a certain amount of days per year, they can take advantage of the same taxation system of 13% as the Russian individuals, percentage much lower than in any of the European countries.

All in all, Russia’s importing and exporting systems and processes are yet not very clear or standardized. The past years have brought a great deal of changes as Russia’s customs policies are trying to align to those of the WTO and become more transparent. Nevertheless, there are obvious advantages to importing and exporting in Russia as this state is willing to offer many custom exemptions for its constant trading partners as well as for certain products imported into Russia.

For more information about imports and exports in Russia and the documents you need for performing these activities, you may contact our law firm in Russia.



  • Myrtis 2015-03-07

    I have read so many articles or reviews on this topic, however this post is genuinely a fastidious article, keep it up.

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