Customs rules in Russia for individuals

From IFCG Encyclopedia

Customs rules applied in Russia are stipulated by legal acts of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The EAEU was established in 2014 and today it includes 5 countries: Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan.

It is worth noting that individuals have to go through customs if they arrive to the territory of the EAEU from the other countries or depart from the EAEU to another country. If an individual travels within the EAEU (for example, from Russia to Belarus), the person does not need to pass customs clearance and neither customs rules nor duties are applicable in this case.

Importation of personal belongings from the outside the EAEU to Russia

The rules for importation of personal belongings by individuals are prescribed in the EAEU Commission Decree No 107 of 20 December 2017.

The individuals who come to the EAEU by planes are allowed to carry their belongings free if the cost of them does not exceed €10,000, and their weight is not more than 50 kg.

For those who cross the border by other means of transport (e.g. by car) the duty free limit is stipulated in the following way:

  • in 2018 — €1,500 but not more than 50 kg;
  • in 2019 — €1,000 but not more than 50 kg;
  • in 2020 — €750 but not more than 35 kg;
  • in 2021 and later — €500 but not more than 25 kg.

The duty free limit for the importation of goods by post service or carriers such as DHL, UPS etc. (i.e. without the owner to cross the border) is the following:

  • in 2018 — €1,000 but not more than 31 kg (during a month);
  • in 2019 — €500 but not more than 31 kg (during a month);
  • in 2020 and later — €200 but not more than 31 kg (within one postal item).

As before, the belongings (including souvenirs and gifts) exceeding the above limits are usually subject to be declared, and pay customs duty at the rate 30% but not less than €4 per 1 kg. The above rate is applied to the value (weight) of the excess, not to the whole value (weight) of goods.

The limits on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products which an individual is allowed to import are as follows:

  • 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars (cigarillos) or 250 g of tobacco or tobacco mix;
  • 5 liters of alcoholic beverages (including beer);
  • 5 liters of ethyl alcohol.

Please note that both tobacco products and alcoholic drinks are not allowed to be imported by individuals younger than 18 years old.

Restrictions and prohibitions

According to the EAEU Commission Decree No 107 certain goods cannot be imported (exported) as personal belongings. Such goods include:

  • Sturgeon caviar in the amount exceeding 250 g;
  • Fish and crustaceans in the amount exceeding 5 kg;
  • Natural diamonds (except diamonds worth less than $75,000);
  • Internal combustion engines (except boat motors);
  • Most of the medical equipment (except syringes, catheters, blood pressure meters, etc.);
  • Almost all machines and equipments, included in HS headings 8426 - 8430, 8433 - 8442, 8444 00 - 8449 00 000 0, 8453 - 8464, 8465, 8466, 8468, 8474 - 8480, 8486, 8514, 8530, 8534 00, 8535, 8545, 8548, 9024, 9027, 9030 и 9031.

Importation (exportation) of certain products as personal belongings is prohibited or requires a special permit.

In particular, following sorts of goods require a permit:

  • cryptographic equipment;
  • radio (wireless) devices (only for import);
  • narcotic drugs;
  • cultural property;
  • guns and cold arms;
  • etc.

However, there are a few special cases and exceptions:

  • Cryptographic products included in this list can be imported and exported freely as personal belongings.
  • Radio devices included in this list can be imported freely.
  • Narcotic drugs can be imported (exported) if they are used by the person due to medical necessity under a prescription from medical authority (such a prescription/document should contain the name and amount of the drug and shall be provided to customs).
  • Previously imported cultural property can be exported on the basis of the passenger customs declaration filled up during importation.

Following goods are prohibited:

Importation (exportation) of currency by individuals from (to) the outside of the EAEU

Currently it is allowed to import and export currency in cash (either in Russian rubles or foreign currency) without any limitations. However, if the amount of cash currency or traveler’s checks exceeds the equivalent of $10,000 (according to the rates established by Central Bank of Russia), this currency should be declared at customs.

The currency which is imported or exported by individuals in other documentary forms (e.g. bonds, security etc.) should be declared to customs irrespective of the nominal value.

Previously, cash amounts between the equivalent of $3,000 and $10,000 should have been declared on exportation. Moreover, it was not allowed to export currency exceeding the equivalent of $10,000 (unless an individual provides a document confirming that the cash was imported or transferred into Russia before).

Temporary importation of vehicles

Foreign individuals (i.e. individuals who do not have permanent residence in the EAEU member states) may import their own cars and bikes into the EAEU territory for personal use for not more than 1 year. Only a foreign person (an importer or anyone) may drive the vehicle.

In this case an individual does not have to pay customs duty. After 1 year passes, however, she must export the vehicle or pay a customs duty. The duty free period may be increased by customs up to 2 years.