Importing to Russia: Dealing with Customs
Good day to you!
Today I'll be touching a very slippery matter of dealing with the customs when importing goods to Russia.
It is necessary to mention that although, as I wrote in the previous post, Russia is a developing and appealing market, it is practically a kind of anarchy in the worst sense if we talk about state services. Bringing wares through the border can turn to a real pain in the neck because of the corruption, which is unfortunately too prevalent to ignore.
But keeping in mind the tips I am giving you here the whole process will go easier.
Note: one might blame me for sharing advice that are illegal to follow, but I shall plead myself: this is, as dirty as it is, real life. I could, of course, explain the legal procedure and stop there, but it'd be much less useful. All in all, the choice is yours.
So, there are three ways to transport cargo over the Russian border:
The easiest (and the most illegal) way is to "buy an hour of the customs time". That means paying $500 – €2000 depending on the customs officials' number and impudence and having your goods on the other side of the border in 15 minutes. During that time all your documents will be legally formalized and you will be escorted everywhere by a nice smiling customs official. Unfortunately, the cost of the last 45 minutes is non-refundable and them customs' sell their time only by hour.
Hire a supplemental carrier company. These folks will ask for $1.500 up to infinity depending on how much you can pay. Anyway, they do the very same job for any amount of money. And what they do is actually perform the first scenario but using their full hour, because they normally have more than one order at a moment. And they surely won't forget to charge you extra for storing you wares while they collect orders.
Finally, the absolutely legal way. If you want to make the whole thing exactly as set by Russian law, prepare to be patient. So, you should do the following:
Insure your cargo. The chance that a load disappears before, during or right after the customs can be as high as 50%.
Choose a transport to carry your goods and select a location you'd like to pass the customs control at. It's hard to give advice here as it never goes easily anyway.
Hire an convoy, preferably a lawyer with a knowledge of Russian Customs Code (especially its 116th clause where the procedure of customs supervision is described), of strong build and with a camera. Physique matters not to be pushed aside from the cargo by customs officials and therefore to avoid getting some extra load in it. A camera will be useful to record any such attempt.
Have the following papers:
- a) personal id;
- b) documents confirming the declared goods purchase and cost;
- c) traffic documents;
- d) documents confirming customs facilities set by Russian Law. That includes documents that confirm:
- temporary import (export) by a natural person;
- an officially stated acknowledgement as a refugee, a forced migrant or a person migrating for permanent residence;
- e) papers confirming legal restrictions observance;
There's also a useful hint: according to Russian law you can import wares of cost less than $1000 as "things for personal usage" and be freed of the import duty. To use the trick you need a confirmation of purchase by a natural person for personal usage (that includes purpose description of every item);
Examine the following documents: 1) Russian Federation Government regulation of 12/28/2006 Nr. 817; 2) Federal Migration Service of Russia order of 08/02/2007 Nr. 166; 3) Federal Customs Service of Russia order of 05/04/2008 Nr. 528; 4) Federal Customs Service of Russia order of 11/30/2007 Nr. 1485;
Believe in the best :-)
Some information can also be found at the Federal Customs Service of Russia official web-site. Though, as before, I strongly recommend you to have a partner in Russia.
Good bye and good luck to you!
This post was prepared with the help of Boris Gavrilov
You are killing me. Just a question. If I want to receive goods from germany true DHL to sell them in Moscow. What is the procedure?