Russia’s New Duty-Free Trade Zones

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Opportunities for duty free retail sales from Russian tourism hotspots in both Europe & Asia

The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to extend its tax duty free experiment in the country until December 31 of 2022 to five more regions – Amur, Vladimir, Irkutsk, Pskov, and Kamchatka.

“The Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade has developed a draft resolution of the Russian Federation Government with amendments to the procedure of providing the tax-free service – the project of VAT refund to foreign nationals when carrying goods outside the customs territory of the Eurasian Economic Union. It is proposed to extend the term of the tax-free experiment until December 31, 2022, and broaden the project geography, adding several more regions to the list of service provision locations,” the Ministry stated.

Extension of the tax-free regime will have a positive influence on the growing employment in the retail segment, Minister Denis Manturov is cited as saying. To stimulate the buying activity of foreign tourists, the Ministry suggests expanding the list of tax-free regions, including Amur, Vladimir, Irkutsk, Pskov and Kamchatka regions. Each are popular tourist destinations, with Vladimir close to Moscow, Pskov near St. Petersburg and the border with the European Union. Both have popular historic sightseeing programmes. Irkutsk is a popular Siberian destination on the Trans-Siberian Railway close to Mongolia, as is the surrounding Amur Region which includes Lake Baikal. Kamchatka is in the Russian Far East and a popular travel and nature exploring destination with especially tourists from Japan, China, and Korea.

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