Import and export licenses
Licensing of foreign economic activities is a regulation method of importation (exportation) of goods by governmental authorities through the issue of licenses. At present, there is a common system of measures regulating import and export within five member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) — Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan.
The EAEU legal framework recognized three types of licenses:
- “general license” — a license that grants a foreign trade participant the right to export and/or import a particular type of a licensed product within a certain quantity prescribed by the license. The validity term of a general license may not exceed 1 year from the day of issue, and for goods that are subject to quantitative regulation of export and/or export or tariff-rate quotas, if not otherwise prescribed by the Commission, it expires in the calendar for which such quota is set.
- “exclusive license” — a license that grants a foreign trade participant the exclusive right to export and/or import a certain type of products; the term of an exclusive license is set by the Commission in each particular case.
- “single-use license” — a license that grants a foreign trade participant based on a foreign trade transaction the subject of which is the licensed product, and granting the right to export and/import such product within a certain quantity. The term of validity of a single-use license may not exceed 1 year from its start date. The term of a single-use license may be limited by the term of a foreign trade contract (agreement) or a term of a document that served as grounds for the issue of the license.
The list of goods that may be imported and exported only with a license is defined by the Decision of the Board of the EEC No.30 dd. 21.04.2015. Participants of foreign economic activities predominantly acquire single-use licenses, as the procedure of obtaining them is more simple and quick. For instance, a general license is issued upon a decision of a Government of a member state of the EAEU.
Many participants of foreign economic activities are confused about the concept of a single-use license. They think that such a license may be used only once, for one delivery of products. Still, it is not the case: a single-use license is issued for 1 year, i.e. an importer or exporter may import or export the stated quantity of products during the year.
However, it is essential to remember that validity of the license may be limited by the term of the contract or the term of the document that served as grounds for the issue of the license.
Another important point is that the license is issued for one code of the Commodity Nomenclature for Foreign Economic Activity (TN VED) of EAEU. In other words, during the submission of documents to issue a license, one may state only the list of products falling under the same code of the TN VED of EAEU.
Each member state of the EAEU assigned a competent authority to issue licenses. The competent authority responsible for the issue of licenses for export and/or import to the Russian Federation is the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation (Minpromtorg of Russia). In order to obtain a license, it is absolutely necessary to pay a state fee to the budget of the country, amount of the state fee is 7,500 rubles. Applicants are participants of foreign trade activities or authorized representatives of participants of foreign trade activities, acting under a power of attorney. Legal entities, private entrepreneurs, and branches of foreign companies registered in Russia may act as applicants.
Approval for issue of a license (import/export permit)
It is essential to note that the issue of a license in each particular case has its own individual peculiarities. Obtaining a license for different categories of products contemplates submission of different packages of documents to the Minpromtorg of Russia, in addition to those stated in the Rules. Besides, often an additional approval for the issue of the license will be needed from governmental authorities whose competence includes regulation of circulation of the respective products.
- in order to obtain a license for import/export of ozone-depleting substances, hazardous waste; for import of poisonous substances and for export of wild animals and plants one will have to submit a permit (conclusion) of the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources (Rosprirodnadzor);
- in order to obtain a license for import/export of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and their precursors one will have to submit a permit (conclusion) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia;
- in order to obtain a license for import/export of human organs and/or tissues, blood or its components, one will have to submit a permit (conclusion) of the Federal Service for Supervision in Healthcare (Roszdravnadzor);
- in order to obtain a license for import/export of encryption devices an applicant shall submit a permit (conclusion) of the Federal Security Service of Russia;
- on order to obtain a license for import of radio electronic and high-frequency devices one should obtain a permit (conclusion) from the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor).