As we get ready to kick off this summer’s World Cup in Russia, UK businesses exporting to Russia need to take notice of nation’s strict Customs regulations.
Whether you are shipping merchandise, organising a supporters’ team visit, or just sending a few items ahead with an international courier – there are a few things you need to know about Russian customs.
To help small business traders and football fans, the international shipping price comparison site, ParcelHero, have composed a guide to help avoid being caught offside by strict shipping policies.
Commenting on the regulations, ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks, offered exporters some pointers.
“Parcels that are worth less than €200 do not have to pay customs duties and fees when clearing customs. But be aware that Russian individuals are restricted to €1,000 of purchased items up to 31 kg per person per month.”
Russia briefly became the largest market for UK goods exports outside of the US, the European Union (EU) and China in 2012, but trade has since been hit by sanctions on Russia.
While shipping items to business addresses are relatively easy, there can be significant delays when delivering to private addresses due to custom’s checks.
For this reason, many couriers do not deliver to private addresses in the Russian Federation.
Jinks advised: “British visitors to the World Cup must sign up for a fan I.D: a personalised identification card, which gives visa-free entry to Russia during the tournament.
“But that’s only half the battle: visitors, even those holding a fan I.D, must be aware that there’s a long list of items not allowed into stadiums.”
The list of banned items include:
- Sporting gear or equipment
- Flags or banners larger than 2m x 1.5m
- Bicycles, skateboards and scooters; unless used for the transportation of people with impaired mobility
- Food or beverages of any kind, including alcoholic beverages
- Thermos bottles or any kinds of flasks
- Work tools of any kind
- All animals, except for registered guide dogs
- Promotional materials of any kind
- Unwieldy objects or bags, if they exceed 158cm
- Umbrellas longer than 25cm when folded
Jinx added: “Delivering items into World Cup stadiums is likely to be a slow procedure, for obvious security reasons. Match day deliveries are being organised by local logistics organising committees (LOCs).
“These will provide freight forwarding and logistics services for all organisations working directly with FIFA. Other organisations can choose a logistics operator of their own, or work with the official service provider, Kuehne+Nagel.”
Exporters should also take note that there are stadium delivery restrictions. For example, vans and trucks visiting stadiums on match days must have their cargo bay separated from the driver’s cab with a physical partition.
Also, passenger cars lugging light cargo can only access stadiums with a permit, and any occupants of the vehicle must be accredited.
“As international couriers will not have access to football stadiums during Security Regime periods (e.g. match days), the LO§Cs will organise the delivery of parcels and correspondence to the final receiver at a stadium,” said Jinx.
Courier deliveries to world cup stadiums must meet the following criteria:
- Cargo dimensions must be no more than 60cm x 70cm x 150cm
- Cargo weight must not exceed 31 kg
- No private or confidential deliveries
Jinx concluded: “Finally if you are thinking of bringing some back with you, you can’t export from Russia sturgeon caviar over 250g.”
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