Saturday 30 April 2016


One of the first steps in case you are going to sell products in Russia is to export goods to Russia (import into Russia). 

It is obvious that all goods entering Russia should be custom cleared.
Before sending out the goods following steps should be made:

Step 1: Inform your Partner or Customer in Russia that you are going to send goods to him.

Please notify you Partner or Customer in advance and please ensure that he has duly received notification.

Step 2: Send all shipping documents for review. Do not send goods before getting OK for the documents.

Main documents to be provided by Seller for import of goods to Russia are:

a) Contract, signed and stamped. If Contract total value is equal or more that 50 t.USD currency transaction certificate should be issued by receiving bank in Russia before first transaction is made or import of the goods to Russia is done.

b) Invoice. Invoice should have reference to the Contract, clear description of the goods, quantity, weights, Customs commodity codes. It is highly recommended but not obligatory to have net and gross weights for each commodity code in invoice (if invoice does not have this information, packing list is required with this information, packing list should have reference to corresponding invoice). Invoice should either have above mentioned information in 2 languages (English and Russian), or separate translation should be provided.

c) Technical description of the goods giving clear idea what materials goods consist of and what is the use of the goods. This information is needed for Russian Customs to identify goods correctly.

d) Certifications and Licenses if required according to Russian rules. 
Requirements for certification are mentioned for each commodity code in Russian Customs code and should be checked prior to shipping the goods.

e) Shipping documents depending on means of transport. (CMR, sea bill of lading, rail waybill, air waybill)

f) Other documents. Other documents mean wide range of commercial, shipping and technical documents which might be requested by Russian Customs if they start question the price or correctness of commodity code applied. (Example: Certificate of origin, Export declaration, Market prices for the same commodity codes in exporting country or on local market, etc)

Hint: Please do not send any shipments without notifications. Lack of required documents or documents made not in full compliance with Russian legislation may result in goods being stuck at Russian Customs.

Step 3: After getting OK for sending goods please check that you have all required contact details and addresses at destination.

This is needed for swift communication when the goods are being delivered. This will also help you to avoid extra costs for demurrage. It is better to ask what are the optimal entrance time to the terminal, this will help you Customer save costs on terminal fees.

Step 4: Provide your Customer in Russia contact person in case Russian Customs requires additional documentation or explanations.

Russian Customs is checking the goods and documents at the border and then at the Customs terminal.

Border control is mainly checking documentation:
- pre-advice note for the goods
- licenses and certification if required
- documents for means of transport
- shipping documents
- TIR carnet or another types of Customs guarantees to cover delivery from border to terminal

Truck might be also opened and goods might be inspected or weighed.

When trucks arrives at Customs terminal documents will be checked once again.
During Customs clearance procedure Russian Customs might request additional documents, request weighing, visual inspection or taking samples for testing to identify the goods.

Hint: Numerous requirements from your Customer in Russia may give you impression that something is wrong. If you question any of the requirements you can contact independent Company in Russia for consultation or ask your local office of one of international forwarders for consultation.

Hint: Please use professional forwarder and Customs broker.

Regards, Yury

Tuesday 12 April 2016


One of first steps to approach Russian market is to understand what is your product price locally and compare it with competitors prices. This will give you idea of contribution margin you can achieve and also give you idea what market segmentyou should aim for.

To calculate cost of your product in Russia you need to:

a) define HS code of goods

b) define average consignment (weight, volume) and askyour forwarder to 
calculate freight cost to your distribution center in Russia or to Customs terminal.
For more precise calculation you can ask forwarder to split freight cost into two parts (delivery from Shipper to the Russian border and further delivery from the border to Customs terminal / end destination)

Note: Roughly estimation for full truck load of 20 tons and 13,5 loading meters is 2000-2200 EUR for delivery on DDP Saint-Petersburg terms from Baltic States of EU.

Once you have defined HS code and freight cost you can use following simplified formulas to calculate cost of your product in Russia.

Cost of consignment on terms DDP Saint-Petersburg without VAT= (cost price of consignment on EXW factory terms +  freight cost to Russian border including cost of making export documents)*import Customs duty + customs fee + terminal fee without VAT + payment to Customs broker / forwarder without VAT + cost of certification without VAT if any.

Cost of 1 pc of goods on terms DDP Saint-Petersburg without VAT = Cost of consignment on terms DDP Saint-Petersburg without VAT / quantity of pcs in consignment

Sales price in Russia with VAT= (Cost price + contribution margin + administrative expences)*VAT

Note: For simplified sales price calculation estimated administrative expences can be 5% of cost price.

Regards, Yury