Licenses and permits for importation of radio-electronic devices

From IFCG Encyclopedia

Today, many electronic devices contain radio-electronic modules that are able to receive and/or transmit radio waves. Such devices potentially may cause interference or transmit in restricted radio frequency band. Most countries impose certain constraints and requirements on importation and use of such equipment.

According to the Eurasian Economic Union law, products above are qualified as radio-electronic equipment or high-frequency devices. Import (but not export) of such products to the EAEU is restricted: usually a license for importation is required. There is a lot of peculiarities, however, that may simplify import procedure or make it more complicated.

Below, we will cover most typical cases and details of obtaining licenses and other permits required for importation of such products.



Radio-electronic equipment (REQ) is a technical mean intended to transmit or receive radio waves that consists of one or several transmitting and (or) receiving devices or a combination of such devices and that includes certain auxiliary equipment.

In short, REQ is a communication device or an equipment that makes use of some wireless communication technologies, for example:

  • mobile phones, cordless phones, radio sets and receivers, baby monitors, modems, wireless gauges;
  • cellular base stations, transmitters, antennas;
  • devices capable of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection (routers, laptops, tablets, wireless peripheral devices: headsets, keyboards/computer mice, audio systems, TV sets, etc.);
  • GPS navigators and trackers[1];
  • satellite equipment including domestic TV receivers and satellite dishes;
  • RFID[2] cards/chips (access badges, transport tickets);
  • car and burglar alarm systems;
  • radio-controlled models, toys, etc.;
  • industrial wireless equipment.

High-frequency devices (HFD) – equipment or devices intended for generating high-frequency energy for industrial, scientific, medical, domestic and other purposes except for communication.

High-frequency devices include:

  • microwave ovens;
  • computed tomography scanners and other medical equipment using microwaves for research/medical purposes;

industrial dryers, induction furnaces;

  • radars and other military equipment;
  • various types of laboratory equipment.

Legal framework

It is important to understand that the EAEU legal framework (common for all member-states) coexist with national laws of the member-states.

According to the EAEU legal framework import of REQ and HFD is regulated by the Decision of the Board of the Customs Union Commission No 30 of 21 April 2015 (hereinafter, the Decision). Namely, products restricted for importation are listed in the article 2.16 of annex 2 to the Decision, and the procedure of their import is described in annex 15.

Requirements for technical characteristics of such products are specified by national laws, for this reason all permits, approvals and licenses for import of particular products are issued by national authorities.

Below the procedure of importation of REQ and HFD into Russian Federation is addressed.

Types of authorization documents


In Russia, licenses are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) in the name of particular importer – legal entity registered in Russia. As a rule, the license is issued for one contract and for one HS code and is valid for at most one year.

To apply for a license one needs to obtain an approval of the regulatory body: in Russia, the approval is issued by the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor).

Permit (import conclusion)

The permit may be issued by the Roskomnadzor in the name of the Russian legal entity if the products are imported under specific Customs procedure (in case of temporary importation, for example).

Information from the Common register

The Common register of REQ and HFD allowed for importation is published on the Eurasian Economic Commission official site.

This register is formed and updated by means of intergovernmental negotiations of the EAEU member-states based on national registers. Thus there is no way for importers and manufactures to include their products in this register directly.

But if your product is already included in the register, only its registration number is required for importation to any of the EAEU member states.

What the importer/manufacturer should do to start selling their product in Russia

Check whether importation of your product is restricted

Use the list from article 2.16 and annex 2 to annex 15 to the Decision (the latter is the list of products that do not require license or any permit for importation – hereafter, the exceptions list).

There are three typical cases:

А. The product, according to its description and HS code is in the list 2.16 and is not in the exceptions list

In this case, the Minpromtorg license or information from the Common register is required for importation of the product for further sale or use. In practice, this usually means that you should apply for the license. (see above register formation details)

B. The product according to its description and HS code is in the list 2.16, but is also in the exceptions list

In this case, according to the law, no additional authorization documents are required for importation. However, see below importation details for this case.

C. The product is formally in the list 2.16 according to its HS code and/or its description, but it does not contain any radio receiving or transmitting components (thus, it is neither REQ nor HFD by definition)

In this case, according to the law no authorization documents are required for importation either, however, see below such product's importation details.

Check the product’s characteristics

The manufacturer should ensure that their product is allowed to be used within the territory of Russian Federation by national law before planning sales.

In Russia, the State Commission for Radio Frequencies (SCRF) is responsible for regulation of use of radio frequency bands by each type of equipment. There is a wide range of SCRF decisions on each type of REQ or HFD: List of Principal SCRF decisions.

Manufacturers should check if radio characteristics of their products conform to the restrictions and standards specified in the SCRF decisions. If that is the case one may start applying for authorization documents.

Obtain required authorization documents

Below we describe the procedure of obtaining Minpromtorg license for importation of restricted products (in other cases no special documents are formally required).

It was mentioned above that before applying for license one needs Roskomnadzor approval. This approval may be given after product is tested on compliance with the SCRF decisions and included in the national register.

Step 1. Obtaining permit to import product sample for testing

Products testing is conducted in Russia in state laboratories of the Main Radio Frequency Center (MRFC). Thus, the first step is to import the product sample into Russia for testing.

The sample is imported within special customs procedure of temporary importation, which will require a permit (import conclusion) from Roskomnadzor. This document is issued within 2-3 weeks. Only legal entities registered on Russian territory may obtain this document (such legal entity may be the manufacturer’s subsidiary, distributor or any other company).

Step 2. Testing and inclusion of the product in the national register

Based on testing result the MRFC issues a conclusion confirming product’s compliance (or non-compliance) with the respective SCRF. If the product complies it is included in the register of REQ and HFD the importation of which to Russian territory is allowed (Russia’s national register or Roskomnadzor register).

The testing process and product’s inclusion in the register takes 1-1,5 months. The MRFC conducts testing on a contract basis for a fee.

The above steps of the procedure are the most complex and time-consuming. However, inclusion of the product in the national register (the Roskomnadzor register) allows the importer(s) to significantly simplify and shorten the procedure of obtaining license for future shipments: Minpromtorg license can be issued within 2-3 weeks in this case.

After the product is included in the Roskomnadzor register one only needs to accomplish two following steps:

Step 3. Obtaining Roskomnadzor approval letter

This letter is required to apply for the license and is issued within 1-2 weeks if the product is included in the national register.

Step 4. Issuing the Minpromtorg license

The license is the key document for importation. It is issued within 5-10 working days if the manufacturer has the required approvals (see above).

Importation of certain types of products

The product is in the exceptions list or is not REQ or HFD

Formally, importation of such products does not require any radio frequency authorization documents (licenses, conclusions, etc.).

However, in practice lack of necessity to provide any authorization documents is sometimes questioned by customs inspectors. It usually happens if the product’s HS code is included in the list 2.16 and/or the product has complex technical characteristics. Such products may include, for example, (wired) routers, hypersonic equipment, signal generators, etc.

Customs may not accept importer’s technical documentation and may require authorization issued by a competent organization.

In this case, it is recommended to prepare exemption letters issued by the MRFC and the Roskomnadzor. Obtaining those letter is mostly similar to the procedure described above (see step 2 and step 3). The letters have unlimited period of validity.

Product has cryptographic capabilities

If the product (REQ) has certain cryptographic functions (which is usually the case for products using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or GSM, for example), the procedure of obtaining the license is mostly the same as described above. The only difference is that before applying for the license (step 4) the notification should be registered for the product, as the notification registration number should be specified in the application.

What can the foreign manufacturer do?

It was mentioned that the license (and most other documents) are issued only in the name of Russian legal entities. However, it does not mean that foreign manufacturers that do not have a subsidiary or agency in Russia, cannot do anything to help their distributors with the authorizations.

Inclusion of the product in the national register will greatly facilitate the work of distributors on obtaining the license for importation.

Submission of the exemption letters (for products included in the exceptions list, or those not being REQ or HFD) to the customs inspectors usually helps a lot in proving the legality of such products importation.

These procedures do not require any contract between the manufacturer and the applicant and in fact, the application may be filed by any legal entity chosen by the manufacturer (one of their distributors, for example, or even a third-party organization).


  1. Including other satellite navigation systems, such as GLONASS, Galileo, BeiDou
  2. Radio-frequency identification

See also