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4.4 Trade regulations

Overview

As a member of the World Customs Organization, the International Convention on Harmonized System of Goods’ Description and Coding, and the Convention on Temporary Import, the trade regime in Russia has been liberalised considerably since its accession application to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and aspirations to join the EU. In particular, Russia follows the Kyoto convention on simplification and harmonisation of customs procedures, while the Russian Customs Code includes provisions which are similar to that of the EU Customs Code. Nowadays, all enterprises and individuals are allowed to trade with special registration, with import licensing and other controls applying only to a few items such as pharmaceuticals, meat and other strategic products of vey little interest to Hong Kong companies. In order to import goods into Russia and clear them through customs, the importer has to make all relevant customs payments and comply with other requirements such as certification, conformity and sanitation.

Import taxes

Customs tariffs

The Russian customs nomenclature is based on the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (usually referred to as the Harmonised System or HS). All goods carried across the country’s customs border have to be declared to customs authorities. A customs declaration should be submitted within 15 days after the goods are presented to customs authorities. Customs duties, if any, should be paid to the authorities when the goods cross the Russian border.

In line with GATT/WTO principles, import and export duties are calculated as a percentage of the customs value of the goods (ad valorem) or in euros per unit of measurement of the goods (volume, weight or quality), and/or as a combination of these two rates. In most cases, however, ad valorem customs duties are levied as a percentage of the customs value of the goods, with customs duty rates varying between 5% and 25% for most imports upon the establishment of the Customs Union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on 1 January 2010. Apart from certain machinery and equipment which enjoys zero duty, Hong Kong-type consumer products like consumer electronics, garments, toys and games and jewellery are subject to tariff rates standing at 5%-20%. On the other hand, export duties are set for a few commodities like oil products, copper, nickel and goods made of these materials.

General import tariffs of Russia

HS Code

Description

CET* (%)
as of 2010

01

Live animals

0,5

02

Meat and edible meat offal

0-15

03

Fish and crustaceans, molluscs and other aquatic invertebrates

5-20

04

Dairy produce; birds eggs; natural honey; edible products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included

0-20

05

Products of animal origin, not elsewhere specified or included

5,10

06

Live trees and other plants; bulbs, roots and the like; cut flowers and ornamental foliage

0-15

07

Edible vegetables and certain roots and tubers

5,15

08

Edible fruit and nuts; peel of citrus fruit or melons

0-10

09

Coffee, tea, maté and spices

0,5

10

Cereals

0,5

11

Products of the milling industry; malt; starches; inulin; wheat gluten

10

12

Oil seeds and oleaginous fruits; miscellaneous grains, seeds and fruits; industrial or medicinal plants; straw and fodder

0,5

13

Lac; gums, resins and other vegetable saps and extracts

5

14

Vegetable plaiting materials; vegetable products not elsewhere specified or included

5,15

15

Animal or vegetable fats and oils and their cleavage products prepared edible fats; animal or vegetable waxes

0-15

16

Preparations of meat, of fish or of crustaceans, molluscs or other aquatic invertebrates

0,15

17

Sugars and sugar confectionery

5,10

18

Cocoa and cocoa preparations

0-20

19

Preparations of cereals, flour, starch or milk; bakers' wares

5,15

20

Preparations of vegetables, fruit, nuts or other parts of plants

0-15

21

Miscellaneous edible preparations

0-15

22

Beverages, spirits and vinegar

5-20

23

Residues and waste from the food industries; prepared animal feed

0,5

24

Tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes

5-20

25

Salt; sulphur; earths and stone; plastering materials, lime and cement

0-13

26

Ores, slag and ash

0,5

27

Mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances; mineral waxes

0,5

28

Inorganic chemicals; organic or inorganic compounds of precious metals, of rare earth metals, of radioactive elements or of isotopes

0-15

29

Organic chemicals

0-10

30

Pharmaceutical products

0-15

31

Fertilisers

10

32

Tanning or dyeing extracts; tannins and their derivatives; dyes, pigments and other colouring matter; paints and varnishes; putty and other mastics; inks

0-15

33

Essential oils and resinoids; perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations

0-15

34

Soap, organic surface-active agents, washing preparations, lubricating preparations, artificial waxes, prepared waxes, polishing or scouring preparations, candles and similar articles, modelling pastes, "dental waxes" and dental preparations with a basis of plaster

0-15

35

Albuminoidal substances; modified starches; glues; enzymes

5

36

Explosives; pyrotechnic products; matches; pyrophoric alloys; certain combustible preparations

5,20

37

Photographic or cinematographic goods

0-15

38

Miscellaneous chemical products

0-15

39

Plastics and articles thereof

0-20

40

Rubber and articles thereof

0-20

41

Raw hides and skins (other than furskins) and leather

0,5

42

Articles of leather; saddlery and harness; travel goods, handbags and similar containers; articles of animal gut (other than silkworm gut)

5,10

43

Furskins and artificial fur; manufactures thereof

5-20

44

Wood and articles of wood; wood charcoal

10-20

45

Cork and articles of cork

5

46

Manufactures of straw, of esparto or of other plaiting materials; basketware and wickerwork

15

47

Pulp of wood or of other fibrous cellulosic material; waste and scrap of paper or paperboard

5-10

48

Paper and paperboard; articles of paper pulp, of paper or of paperboard

5-20

49

Printed books, newspapers, pictures and other products of the printing industry; manuscripts, typescripts and plans

0,15

50

Silk

0,5

51

Wool, fine or coarse animal hair; horsehair yarn and woven fabric

5,15

52

Cotton

0-15

53

Other vegetable textile fibres; paper yarn and woven fabrics of paper yarn

5-15

54

Man-made filaments; strip and the like of man-made textile materials

0-20

55

Man-made staple fibres

5,10

56

Wadding, felt and nonwovens; special yarns, twine, cordage, ropes and cables and articles thereof

5,15

57

Carpets and other textile floor coverings

20

58

Special woven fabrics; tufted textile fabrics; lace, tapestries; trimmings; embroidery

15

59

Impregnated, coated, covered or laminated textile fabrics; textile articles of a kind suitable for industrial use

5,15

60

Knitted or crocheted fabrics

10

61

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted

5

62

Articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted

10

63

Other made up textile articles; sets; worn clothing and worn textile articles; rags

5-20

64

Footwear, gaiters and the like; parts of such articles

0,5

65

Headgear and parts thereof

10

66

Umbrellas, sun umbrellas, walking sticks, seatsticks, whips, riding-crops and parts thereof

15

67

Prepared feathers and down and articles made of feathers or of down; artificial flowers; articles of human hair

10

68

Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials

0-20

69

Ceramic products

0-20

70

Glass and glassware

0-15

71

Natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones, precious metals, metals clad with precious metal and articles thereof; imitation jewellery; coin

0-20

72

Iron and steel

0-15

73

Articles of iron or steel

0-20

74

Copper and articles thereof

0-15

75

Nickel and articles thereof

0-15

76

Aluminium and articles thereof

0-20

78

Lead and articles thereof

5

79

Zinc and articles thereof

5

80

Tin and articles thereof

5

81

Other base metals; cermets; articles thereof

0-15

82

Tools, implements, cutlery, spoons and forks, of base metal; parts thereof of base metal

0-15

83

Miscellaneous articles of base metal

0-20

84

Nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances; parts thereof

0-20

85

Electrical machinery and equipment and parts thereof; sound recorders and reproducers, television image and sound recorders and reproducers, and parts and accessories of such articles

0-20

86

Railway or tramway locomotives, rolling-stock and parts thereof; railway or tramway track fixtures and fittings and parts thereof; mechanical (including electro-mechanical) traffic signalling equipment of all kinds

0-15

87

Vehicles other than railway or tramway rolling stock, and parts and accessories thereof

0-25

88

Aircraft, spacecraft, and parts thereof

0-20

89

Ships, boats and floating structures

0-20

90

Optical, photographic, cinematographic, measuring, checking, precision, medical or surgical instruments and apparatus; parts and accessories thereof

0-20

91

Clocks and watches and parts thereof

0-20

92

Instruments; parts and accessories of such articles

5,15

93

Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof

20

94

Furniture; bedding, mattresses, mattress supports, cushions and similar stuffed furnishings; lamps and lighting fittings, not elsewhere specified or included; illuminated sign illuminated nameplates and the like; prefabricated buildings

0-20

95

Toys, games and sports requisites; parts and accessories thereof

5-20

96

Miscellaneous manufactured articles

0-20

97

Works of art, collectors' pieces and antiques

0

* CET stands for common external tariff, effective 1 January 2010

Source: Annex 1 to the Customs Union Committee Resolution №130 of 27 Nov 2009

Excise taxes and customs processing fees

Besides import tariffs, certain goods are subject to excise tax in Russia with specific rates based on the volume, weight or other product characteristics. According to the Tax Code in Russia, excise tax is levied on the domestic sales of excisable goods and sales of the pledged assets and transfer of excisable goods on commission or novelty, with different rates set out in the Article 193. In Russia, excise payers include enterprises and individuals operating with excisable goods and individuals engaged in the transfer of goods via Russia’s customs borders as defined by the Customs Code. Besides, a customs processing fee, varying from €15 to €3,000 per customs declaration, is levied according to the customs value of the imported products.

Excisable goods in Russia

  • Beer
  • Cars and bikes with engine power in excess of 112.5 kWt (150 hp)
  • Cigarettes
  • Diesel fuel, engine oils for diesel and/or injectors engines
  • Ethyl alcohol produced from all types of raw materials
  • Oil products: car gasoline
  • Spirits (drinkable alcohol, vodka, liqueurs, brandy, wine and other products with volume share of ethyl alcohol in excess of 1.5% excluding wine materials)
  • Spirits with share of ethyl alcohol in excess of 9%
  • Virgin gasoline

Source: Invest in Russia

Value-added taxes (VAT)

Also, most imported products, as well as services, are subject to a value-added tax (VAT) which is equivalent to 18% of the customs value of the goods, inclusive of customs and excise duties, while a reduced rate of 10% is applied, for example, to food products listed in Article 164 of the Tax Code, children’s goods listed in the Tax Code, educational and scientific publications, medical goods of domestic and foreign manufacturing. Meanwhile, exported goods, work and services directly related to the production and manufacturing of exported goods, work and services directly related to the transportation of goods in transit and services for the transportation of passengers and luggage, provided that a place of departure or place of destination is located outside of Russia, are exempt from VAT.

Trade remedies

Anti-dumping measures

Russia is not a frequent user of anti-dumping (AD) proceedings, currently only imports of seven products are subject to AD measures in Russia (five of them originating in Ukraine, one from the EU and one from China, i.e. ball bearings). Although the AD measure on China covers imports of bearings from Hong Kong, there is no apparent trade implication for Hong Kong as no export or re-export of bearings to Russia were made since 2000.

Russia’s anti-dumping measures against Chinese products

Product

HS Code

Anti-dumping duty

Imposition date

Expiry date

Ball Bearings

8482 10 100 1

8482 10 100 2

8482 10 100 9

8482 10 900 1

8482 10 900 2

8482 10 900 3

8482 10 900 8,

8482 20 000 1,

8482 20 000 2

8482 20 000 9

8482 30 000 1

8482 30 000 9

8482 50 000 1

8482 50 000 2

8482 50 000 9

8482 80 000 1

8482 80 000 2

8482 80 000 9

8482 91 100 0

8482 91 900 0

8482 99 000 0

41.5%

(Wuxi Ball Bearings 31.3%)

21.12.2007

20.1.2013

Safeguard measures

Thus far, Russia has not used anti-subsidy or countervailing investigations in its trade policy. However, Russia remains a rather frequent user of safeguard investigation (or “special” investigations as determined under the Russian legislation). These investigations target imports of the product concerned originating in all countries and they are normally concluded by imposition of an additional (special) duty which is applied to imports of the product concerned (on top of the normal import duty) irrespective of the origin of the product concerned. Currently, safeguard measures are applied against imports of large diameter tubes (8% additional duty), glass fibres (14.2% and 33.4% depending on the type of fibres), alloy tubes (28.1%) and kitchen and tableware (US$1.4 per kg).

Safeguard measures in Russia

Product

HS Code

Rate

Imposition date

Expiry date

Large diameter tubes

7304.11.900.2

7304.11.900.9

7304.19.900.2

7304.19.900.9

7304.31.800.0

7304.39.990.0

7304.59.990.0

7305.11.000.1

7305.11.000.2

7305.11.000.3

7305.11.000.8

7305.12.000.1

7305.12.000.9

7305.19.000.0

7305.31.000.0

7305.39.000.0

7305.90.000.0

8%

21.12.2006

20.12.2009

Glass fibres

7019.19.100.9

7019.19.900.1

7019.19.900.9

7019.31.000.0

7019.32.000.9

7019.39.000.1

7019.39.000.9

7019.40.000.0

7019.51.000.0

7019.52.000.0

7019.59.000.0

7019.90.300.0

7019.90.910.0

7019.90.990.0

14.2% for abrasive goods production

33.4% for other goods

10.12.2007

9.12.2010

Alloy tubes

7304.11.100.1

7304.11.100.2

7304.11.100.9

7304.11.300.1

7304.11.300.2

7304.11.300.9

7304.11.900.1

7304.11.900.2

7304.11.900.9

7304.41.000.9

7304.49.100.0

7304.49.920.0

7304.49.990.0

7306.11.110.0

7306.11.190.0

7306.11.900.0

7306.40.200.1

7306.40.200.9

7306.40.800.9

28.1%

2.11.2009

1.11.2012

Kitchen and tableware

8211.91.300.0

8215.99.100.0

8215.20.100.0

US$1.4/kg

27.12.2009

26.12.2012

Remark: Safeguard measures in force as at end-April 2010.

Preferential treatment

Russia grants preferential tariff status to a number of developing countries and territories. Eligible products are subject to customs duties of 75% of the MFN rates (or the base customs duty rates). As the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong are deemed developing countries and territories as listed in Russian customs legislation, the rate of customs duties applied to products which benefit from the preferential tariff status when imported into Russia amounts to 75% of the MFN rates. But many goods originating from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, such as assembled consumer electronics, telephones, integrated electronic chips, clothing items made of synthetic fibres, footwear, jewellery with precious stones, imitation jewellery, toys and games, as well as watches and clocks, are excluded from the preferential tariff treatment.

Product standards/certification requirements

Most imports, including consumer goods, are required to comply with appropriate Russian standards. The most common certificate that is required at the customs border is the GOST Russia Certificate of Conformity (GOST R CoC) issued by the Gosstandart (GOST) of the Russian Federation or its authorised agencies. Upon issuance, the CoC will be valid for a period of three years. However, it should be noted that many products imported into Russia require additional supporting certification from other organisations before the CoC can be issued by the GOST. For instance, as stipulated by Russian law, there is a list of electronic products that are required to obtain certificates issued by ISEP (a non-profit certification body accredited by the GOST) before they can be sold in the market. Usually, the Russian importers are responsible for submitting the products for testing, while some Russian exporters also test their exports on a voluntary basis as some European countries recognise the ISEP Certificates.

Supporting certification for Certificate of Conformity (CoC)

Certification body

Products for certification

Sanepidemnadzor (SAN)

Food, cosmetics, toys, clothing, textiles, furniture and certain industrial/mechanical equipment

Ministry of Public Health Services and Social Development

Medical equipment, medical devices including diagnostic products and drugs

Ministry of Internal Affairs

Fire safety certification of certain products

Ministry of Communications

Telecommunications equipment

Ministry of Environment

Large signs or external shop fittings and ozone friendliness certification

ISEP

Electronic equipment

When applying to the GOST, the applicants should enclose with the applications (i) a hygiene certificate on the products, (ii) list of products for certification with HS codes, (iii) copies of certificate of origin for the products, (iv) a copy of a quality certificate, (v) a copy of a contract on the delivery of products, (v) an invoice and (vi) samples of products applying for certification.

In view of the complicated procedures for certification, Hong Kong companies may request their Russian counterparts to undertake such formalities. Alternatively, they can also hire agents authorised by the GOST to do so on their behalf. For instance, Intertek and SGS Hong Kong Limited, both international inspection and testing companies, are authorised agencies of the GOST in Hong Kong.

 

Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council
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