Russian E-Commerce Boost as Tax Threshold on Imported Parcels Reduced

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Russia’s e-commerce industry and those who sell to Russia online received a timely boost with the Ministry of Economic Development permitting a reduction in the import tax threshold for imported parcels to duty-free for all packages valued at 500 euros or less.

Deputy Minister of Economic Development Oleg Fomichev said to media this week: “We will reduce the cost of parcels exempt from the duty step by step. It is 1,000 euro now and will be 500 euro later. We must reach the level of developed economies, so that customs duties are levied on a greater portion of products. Russian online stores are actually paying all these duties. The Russian government wants to create conditions for development of the domestic online commerce. It appears now that domestic participants are in less beneficial conditions versus foreign ones because of taxes and requirements to certification of products”.

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Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments: “This is good news for international online businesses servicing the Russian market. It makes their products more competitive and easier to import into Russia and onto the end consumer”.

According to Business.Com, Russia is currently the world’s ninth largest e-commerce market with 2017 sales at around US$20 billion. However, that is set to grow rapidly as local e-commerce platforms have now started to get moving – the country has Europe’s largest number of online subscribers, yet among the lowest number of online purchasers, meaning there is plenty of room for immediate growth.

 

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