Procedure for import of goods to Russia and customs clearance

"The procedure for the importation of goods into the territory of the Russian Federation (RF) and its customs clearance is fixed, first of all, in the new Customs code of the Russian Federation (TC), which entered into on January 1, 2004. Acts of the Federal customs service (FCS) concerning the rules of import and customs clearance of goods, as well as documents of the state customs Committee of the Russian Federation (SCC) are explanatory and may not contradict the rules of the TC. 

1. Main new provisions of the Customs code

- Prevalence of the direct action rule containing a detailed description of customs procedures;
- During customs control the customs authorities proceed from the principle of selectivity. Risk management system will be used;
- Establishes liability of the customs authorities for the losses caused to the participants of foreign economic activity;
- Appeal against decisions or inaction of customs officers can be carried out in a simplified manner when moving goods worth no more than 1.5 million rubles or one vehicle (Art. 57 TC);
- Documents required for customs clearance can be provided in electronic form (currently the system is not established everywhere);
- Certain customs operations can be performed outside the location and time of work of customs services (paragraph 2 of article 62 of the customs code);
- Licensing of participants of foreign economic activity is replaced by their inclusion in the register.

2. Movement of goods across the customs border of the Russian Federation 

The movement of goods is allowed only through the established checkpoints on the border of the Russian Federation, during the work of customs authorities (article 69 of the customs code). 

In accordance with the TC, the carrier provides the customs authority, for example, in the case of road transport, with the following documents: 
- documents for the vehicle;
- an international consignment note (CMR)
- commercial documents for the goods transported. 

After the goods arrive and the documents are provided to the customs authority, the goods may be:
( a) unloaded or overloaded. Unloading or reloading of goods is carried out at the location of the customs authority.

b) placed in a temporary storage warehouse. In temporary storage warehouses (TSW), goods are stored without payment of customs duties and taxes and restrictions until they are released in accordance with a certain customs regime or placed under a certain customs procedure (e.g. Internal customs transit.) The period of temporary storage of goods is two months. In exceptional cases, the period may be extended for up to two months. 

C) declared to a certain customs regime (on customs regimes, see below);

d) declared to internal customs transit. Internal customs transit (VTT) is a customs procedure in which foreign goods are transported through the customs territory of the Russian Federation to the customs office of destination without paying customs duties and taxes, and applying restrictions to them (article 79 of the customs code). A permit for VTT is issued by the customs authority, including if interim measures are taken. TC establishes the following interim measures: 
- payment of customs duties corresponding to the amount of customs duties and taxes;
- customs escort; 
- determination of routes for transportation of certain goods established by the Government of the Russian Federation.

No interim measures are required for the transport of goods by the customs carrier. 

Payment of customs duties can be replaced by a Bank guarantee, surety, pledge, including cash. 

In case of import of goods in accordance with the TIR Convention (Carnet TIR) of the national customs order regarding the application for interim measures carrier and customs clearance in the customs offices EN route does not apply.

3. Declaration of goods

Goods imported into the customs territory of the Russian Federation are subject to Declaration. Declaration of goods is usually made by filing a customs Declaration by the declarant to the appropriate customs authority. 

3.1. Who can be the declarant

Only Russian person (natural or legal).

Exception when moving goods across the customs border: 
- individuals (including foreign) for personal needs;
- diplomatic mission;
- foreign organizations having representative offices accredited in the territory of the Russian Federation for the needs of representation;
- as well as foreign carriers in transit (article 126 of the customs code). 

Other foreign persons who are not listed above may not act as declarants. In this case, they can use the services of a customs broker, which on behalf of the foreign person can perform customs operations. 

The Declaration may be submitted to any customs authority authorized to accept customs declarations (article 125 of the customs code). FCS has the right to establish certain customs authorities for the Declaration of certain types of goods, for example, when importing alcoholic beverages, cars, etc.

3.2. The deadline for the submission of the Declaration 

The Declaration shall be submitted no later than 15 days from the date of presentation of goods to the customs authorities at the place of their arrival or from the date of completion of VTT, if the Declaration of goods is made at the customs office of destination (article 129 TC). The deadline for the verification of the Declaration is set at most 3 days from the date of its adoption. 

3.3. Documents attached to the Declaration 

The Declaration shall be accompanied by the necessary documents confirming the information stated in the customs Declaration. When declaring goods, the following main documents are submitted (art. 131 of the customs code):

- contracts of international sale or other types of contracts concluded in the course of a foreign trade transaction;
- commercial documents available to the declarant;
- transport (transportation) documents;
- permits, licenses, certificates and (or) other documents; 
- documents confirming the origin of goods; 
- payment and settlement documents;
- documents confirming information about the declarant; 
- passport of the import deal or transaction passport, or passport of barter transaction, etc.

The customs authority has the right to refuse to accept the customs Declaration if all the necessary documents have not been provided. However, the TC provides for the possibility of postponing the provision of certain documents at the request of the declarant for up to 45 days after the Declaration is adopted. 

Customs authorities may not refuse to accept documents required for customs clearance because of inaccuracies in them that do not affect the determination of the amount of customs payments to be paid, as well as the decision on the application of prohibitions and restrictions. In case of refusal to accept the documents, the declarant has the right to require a written notice of the reasons for refusal (paragraph 6 of article 63 of the TC).

Consolidated cargo may be declared with the indication of one classification code for FEACN, provided that this classification code corresponds to the rate of customs duty of the highest level (article 128 of the customs code). 

Customs clearance is carried out in a simplified and priority manner when importing perishable goods, live animals, international mail, Express cargo, media, goods for the elimination of natural disasters, accidents, etc. 

3.4. Types of Declaration

The declarant has the right to choose one of the following types of Declaration: 
- periodic (article 136 of the TC);
- incomplete (Art. 135 TC);
- preliminary (Art. 130 TC);
- release of goods before filing a customs Declaration (article 150 of the customs code).

4. Simplified customs clearance procedures 

TC provides for the participants of foreign trade special simplified procedures of customs clearance, for example, filing of periodic customs Declaration (article 136 of the customs code), release of goods before filing a customs Declaration (article 150 of the customs code), customs clearance at the facilities of such persons, storage of goods in their own warehouses, etc., which: 

- do not have administrative offenses in the field of customs; 
- carry out foreign trade for three years; 
- lead the accounting system of their commercial documentation in certain SCC order (the Order of registration established by Order of the state customs Committee No. 1077 dated 30.09.2003).

5. Customs payment 

TC establishes the following types of customs duties (article 318 of the TC):
- import customs duty
- export customs duty
- value added tax levied on the import of goods into the customs territory of the Russian Federation
- excise tax levied on the import of goods into the customs territory of the Russian Federation
- customs duty

5.1. Customs duties and taxes

The obligation to pay customs duties and taxes arises: when importing goods - from the moment of crossing the customs border, and when exporting – from the moment of submission of the customs Declaration. Payments are not charged when the customs value of imported goods within one week to the address of one recipient does not exceed 5000 rubles. (approx. 160 Euros) (art. 

5.2. Time of payment 

Customs duties and taxes must be paid when importing goods within 15 days from the date of presentation of the goods to the customs authority at the place of their arrival or from the date of completion of VTT. When exporting goods, customs duties must be paid no later than the day of submission of the customs Declaration. Payments are calculated in rubles. However, they may be paid in foreign currency. 

The person responsible for the payment of customs duties and taxes is the declarant. If the Declaration is carried out by a customs broker, he is responsible for the payment of customs duties and taxes. However, these duties and taxes can be paid by any person. 

5.3. Customs value of goods 

Customs duties and taxes are calculated on the basis of the customs value of the goods and/or their quantity. The customs value of goods consists of the cost of goods, transportation costs, packaging, insurance, license fees, Agency fees, etc. (see the method for the price of the transaction with imported goods, according to the Law of the Russian Federation of 21.05.1993 № 5003-I "on customs tariff"). To confirm the value of the goods, the declarant provides, for example, when applying the method for the price of the transaction with imported goods (contract of sale or other agreement), including the following documents: 
5.3. Customs value of goods 

Customs duties and taxes are calculated on the basis of the customs value of the goods and/or their quantity. The customs value of goods consists of the cost of goods, transportation costs, packaging, insurance, license fees, Agency fees, etc. (see the method for the price of the transaction with imported goods, according to the Law of the Russian Federation of 21.05.1993 № 5003-I "on customs tariff"). To confirm the value of the goods, the declarant provides, for example, when applying the method for the price of the transaction with imported goods (contract of sale or other agreement), including the following documents: 

- constituent documents of the declarant;
- contract (contract);
- invoice (invoice);
- transport (transportation) documents;
- insurance document;
- invoice for transportation or calculation of transportation expenses in cases when transport expenses were not included in the price of the transaction or a claimed deduction of these costs from the price of the transaction;
- a copy of the cargo customs Declaration and customs value Declaration accepted on the first delivery under the contract or on delivery. 


5.4. Import customs duty

Import duties are set in the Customs tariff of the Russian Federation, approved by the Government of the Russian Federation № 830 from 30.11.2001.the Maximum rate of customs duty is 25% (for example, on cars). Most goods have a customs duty rate of 5% to 20%. 

5.5. Export customs duties

Export customs duties are approved by the Government of the Russian Federation. At the moment, only a small part of the goods is subject to export duties. These are, for example, live fish, seeds, graphite, gravel, gypsum, ore, oil, gas, raw hides, wood, timber, metals, etc. 

5.6. Value added tax 

Value added tax (VAT) is paid mainly when importing goods to Russia, as well as when placing goods under the customs regime of processing for domestic consumption. VAT payment procedure is established in the Tax code of the Russian Federation, Chapter 21 "value added Tax". The tax rate is 18%. For most food products, goods for children, printed products and certain medical devices 10% rate applies. VAT is subject to a tax deduction under the law. 

5.7. Excises 

Excise taxes are a Federal tax and are levied on the importation into Russia of the following goods: ethyl alcohol, alcoholic beverages, wine, including champagne, beer, tobacco, cigarettes, cars, gasoline, motor oil, gas. Excise tax rates are set in the Tax code of the Russian Federation, Chapter 22 "Excise".

5.8. Customs clearance fee 

Customs clearance fee is 0.15% of the customs value of the goods. Moreover, 0.1% is paid in rubles, and 0.05% can be paid in foreign currency. 

Approximate calculation of customs duties and taxes: 

The customs value of goods – € 10,000
Customs duty-10% 
VAT at 20% 
The excise tax is 15% 
Customs clearance fee-0.15% 

Customs duty = customs value Of goods x customs duty = 1000 Euro 
Excise = (there. cost + there. fee) X excise tax = 1650 Euro 
VAT = (there. cost + there. duty) X VAT = 2200 Euro 
The customs duties = customs value X customs duties = 15 Euro 

5.9. Refund of overpaid or overcharged customs duties and taxes

Refund of overpaid or overcharged customs duties and taxes is made at the request of the payer within one month from the date of application (article 355 of the customs code). The payer is obliged to submit the application for return to customs authorities within three years from the date of payment. Customs payments are returned in rubles. Interest is not accrued. 

5.10. Ensuring payment of customs duties 

Payment security is applied in the following cases (article 337 of the TC): 

- provision of deferral or installment payment of customs duties and taxes;
- conditional release of goods (e.g. temporary importation, processing in the customs territory, etc.)); 
- transportation and (or) storage of foreign goods (e.g. in VTT or international transit);
- implementation of activities in the field of customs by customs brokers, TSW, customs warehouses and customs carriers.

Security of payment is not applied if the amount of customs duties and taxes to be paid does not exceed 20,000 rubles. (approx. 600 Euros). 

Customs payments are secured at the option of the payer in the following ways: 

- pledge of goods and other property;
- bank guarantee;
- by depositing funds to the cash Desk or to the account of the customs authority in the Federal Treasury (cash collateral);
- guarantee.

Bank guarantee for the above purposes may be issued only by those banks or insurance companies that are included in the Register of banks and credit institutions of the state customs Committee (order No. 949 of 01.09.2003). 

The guarantor may be customs brokers, owners of temporary storage facilities, customs warehouses and duty-free shops, as well as other persons. For surety registration, the surety is obliged to sign a contract with the customs authority. 

The refund of the cash collateral is subject to the performance of the obligation secured by the cash collateral. An application for a refund must be submitted within three years from the date of the next day of performance of the obligation. Customs authorities return the Deposit, as a rule, in the currency of payment (article 357 of the customs code). 

6. Customs regime

When importing goods to the customs territory of the Russian Federation or export, traders are obliged to place these goods under one of the specified customs regimes. These persons have the right at any time to choose any customs regime or change it to another.

TC establishes 4 groups of customs regimes (Art. 155 of the customs code): 

1) basic customs regimes:
- output for domestic consumption
- export
- international customs transit
2) economic customs regimes:
- processing in the customs territory
- processing for domestic consumption
- processing outside the customs territory
- temporary import
- customs warehouse
- free customs zone (free warehouse)
3) final customs regimes:
- reimport
- reexport
- destruction
- refusal in favor of the state
4) special customs regimes:
- temporary export
- free trade
- moving supplies
- other special customs regimes

6.1. Brief description of the main customs regimes: 

(a) domestic production (Imports))

Release for domestic consumption-the customs regime under which goods imported into the customs territory of the Russian Federation remain in this territory (article 163 of the customs code). Goods are issued for free consumption after payment of customs duties and taxes, and compliance with all restrictions established by the legislation of the Russian Federation (for example, import quotas). 

b) Export

When declaring the customs regime "Export", goods in free circulation in the customs territory of the Russian Federation shall be exported from this territory (art.. 165 TC). Some of the exported goods are subject to customs duties. VAT on exports is not paid. 

(C) international customs transit (ITT)

In international customs transit, foreign goods are moved through the customs territory of the Russian Federation under customs control between the place of their arrival in the customs territory of the Russian Federation and the place of their departure from that territory. Customs duties and taxes are not paid and prohibitions and restrictions established by the legislation of the Russian Federation are not applied to goods.

6.2. Brief description of economic customs regimes: 

(a) Processing in the customs territory 

Under the regime of processing in the customs territory declared foreign goods that within a certain period (no more than two years) are processed in the customs territory of the Russian Federation, and then the processed products are exported from Russia (Art. 173 TC). Imported goods are exempt from customs duties and taxes, but they are subject to the payment of customs duties. Exported processed products are exempt from customs duties and taxes. Processing in the customs territory is allowed only after obtaining the appropriate permission of the customs authority. 

b) Processing for domestic consumption 

Under processing for domestic consumption, imported goods are declared, which will be processed (processing, processing, manufacture of new, including installation, Assembly or disassembly of goods) in the customs territory of the Russian Federation within the established period (no more than 1 year) with the subsequent release of processed products for free circulation. Customs duties are paid at the rates applicable to processed products (article 187 of the customs code). When importing goods for processing, the importer is exempt from customs duties and taxes, subject to payment of customs duties. 

C) Processing outside the customs territory 

When processing outside the customs territory, goods are exported from the customs territory of the Russian Federation for processing goods within the prescribed period (up to two years) with subsequent import of processed products (article 197 of the customs code). Imported goods are exempt from payment of import customs duties and taxes in full (in case of warranty repair of the exported goods) or in part. To place the goods under this regime requires the permission of the customs authority. Exported goods are not subject to customs duties, but VAT is paid on export. 

d) Temporary importation 

The temporary import regime allows the use of foreign goods imported into the Russian Federation for a certain period (mainly up to two years) in the customs territory of the Russian Federation (article 209 of the customs code). At the same time, a full or partial exemption from customs duties, taxes and without applying to these goods prohibitions and restrictions in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation. The goods can be imported, provided that they can be identified upon re-export, as well as remain unchanged. The customs authorities may require the declarant to provide guarantees and obligations for the return export of the goods (for example, the guarantee of a Russian person, a Bank guarantee or a cash Deposit in the amount of customs duties and taxes that would be charged if the goods were declared for domestic consumption). The government of the Russian Federation established a list of goods that can be imported with full exemption from customs duties and taxes (Government Decree No. 599 of 16.08.2003). Such goods include multi-turn containers, containers, goods for exhibitions, tools for installation of equipment, samples of materials, as well as for testing and examination, goods in the field of culture, science, etc. 

Other categories of goods are subject to partial exemption from customs duties and taxes. With partial exemption, 3% of the customs duties and taxes that would have been payable had the goods been released for free circulation are charged for each full or partial calendar month. 

For example:

Customs value of goods – 1000 Euro
The amount of customs duties and taxes collected at release in free circulation: 
- customs duty-20% 
- VAT at 20% 
Total: 40% or (customs value of goods + customs duty) x VAT = customs duty + VAT = 440 Euro 

Partial exemption of 3% per month from customs duty and taxes =
440 Euros x 3% = 13.2 Euros per month. 

The ATA Carnet: 

Since 2000, the international ATA Carnet system has been used in Russia. The guaranteeing organization is the chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation. On the basis of ATA Carnet issued abroad, a foreign organization has the right to temporarily import goods to the territory of Russia for a period of up to 1 year without paying customs duties and taxes and without providing additional guarantees or obligations. 

e) Customs warehouse

In the Customs warehouse mode, goods imported into the customs territory of the Russian Federation are stored under customs control. Payment of customs duties, taxes is not carried out, prohibitions and restrictions of economic nature in respect of these goods are not applied. The period of goods in stock is set to three years. 

6.3. Brief description of the final customs regimes

(a) re-Import 

Under the regime of "Reimport" declared in Russia imported goods that were previously exported from the customs territory of the Russian Federation (article 234 of the LC). Import duties and taxes are not paid if all customs duties from which goods have been exempted in connection with export have been paid. Prohibitions and restrictions of economic nature in respect of these goods is not made. 

Return of export customs duties is made if goods are imported into the customs territory of the Russian Federation no later than six months from the date of export. 

b) re-Export 

Under re-Export, previously imported to the customs territory of the Russian Federation, are exported from this territory (article 239 of the customs code). Export customs duties and taxes are not paid. The amounts of import duties and taxes paid are returned. 

As a rule, the regime of re-export includes imported defective goods or goods that do not meet the conditions of foreign economic transaction, which have not been used or repaired in Russia, and can be identified and exported no later than six months from the date of import. 

7. Separate customs procedures 

7.1. Movement of goods by natural persons

Individuals (Russian and foreign citizens), moving the goods for personal use not for business activities exempt from customs duties and taxes if the value of the goods exceeds 65 thousand rubles (approx. € 2000) (exclude vehicles). In case of exceeding this amount, but not more than 650 thousand rubles, the unified rates of customs duties and taxes established by the Government of the Russian Federation in terms of such excess in the amount of 30% of the customs value but not less than 4 Euros per 1 kg are applied.

7.2. Temporary admission of natural persons

Foreign individuals are exempt from customs duties and taxes on temporary importation of goods for personal use (article 283 of the customs code). Temporary import is issued for a period the importation of goods and may be extended upon the request of the individual to the customs authority at the place of temporary residence of the person (max. 2 years). 

Temporary who of the vehicle is subject to Declaration by a foreign natural person at the customs authority at the place of its stay in the Russian Federation. The declarant provides documents for the vehicle and documents of ownership of the vehicle. The vehicle is exempt from customs duties and taxes. When entering the territory of the Russian Federation customs authorities in checkpoints on the state border shall issue a certificate of importation to the time of delivery of the vehicle to the place of temporary stay. The customs authority at the place of temporary stay extends the import certificate for the entire period of temporary import of the vehicle to Russia. When the vehicle is exported from Russia, the import certificate is handed over to the customs authority at the checkpoint. 

8. Intellectual property protection 

TC provides the right to the owner of exclusive intellectual property rights (trademark, patent, copyright, etc.) to prevent the import of counterfeit products to Russia (article 393 of the TC). To confirm this right, the right holder provides documents confirming his intellectual property rights (certificate, contract, including license, etc.). The right holder provides a guarantee of the obligation of compensation of property damage that may be caused to the owner or recipient of these goods. The customs authority may set a time limit within which the customs authorities take measures related to the suspension of the release of goods. This period can not be more than 5 years. In case of import of counterfeit products within this period, the customs authority shall suspend the import of such products for a period of 10 days, if it finds that the goods specified by the right holder are counterfeit. This period may be extended for another 10 days if the right holder has applied to the legally established bodies for the protection of their intellectual property rights.

The intellectual property objects in respect of which the SCC has taken the above measures are entered into the customs register of intellectual property objects, which is maintained by the SCC. There is no fee for inclusion in the register. However, the condition for inclusion in the register is that the right holder must ensure the performance of the obligation by one of the methods specified in the legislation (for example, pledge, guarantee, Bank guarantee, etc.) in the amount of not less than 500 thousand rubles, or to insure their liability not less than the specified amount. 

9. Import of property as a contribution to the authorized capital of a company with foreign investments 

Property imported as a contribution to the authorized capital of a Russian legal entity with foreign investments, on the basis of the Law of the Russian Federation "on customs tariff" of 21.05.1993 № 5003-I and the decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 23.07.1996 № 883 is exempt from customs duty if the property: 

- are not excisable;
- refers to the main production assets;
- imported within the terms established by the constituent documents for the formation of the authorized (share) capital.

If the property is sold to third parties, the legal entity is obliged to pay customs duties payable on the date of the conditional release.

ESC Consulting LLC, 2018