Russia: New Excise Duty Stamps Might Mean Alcohol Shortage at New Year

18 December 2018 (09:35)

UrBC, Moscow, December 18, 2018. Importers are struggling with getting their regular amounts of strong drinks to Russia because there aren’t enough new-format excise duty stamps at the moment.

Vedomosti refers to head of the Alcohol Importers’ Union Valeriy Filatov as saying that the problem has been brought about by the launch of the updated versions of the federal special-purpose stamps and excise duty stamps starting 2019. Central Excise Customs have so far been unable to start accepting and processing strong drink importers’ applications for the new-format stamps. In fact, the customs also stopped accepting any applications for the old-format stamps in October.

The new-format stamps were meant to have been launched on October 1, but in actuality these haven’t got printed yet, Director-General of Alcoholic Beverages Committee (comprising brands such as Diageo, Bacardi, and Brown-Forman) Alexander Romanov says. According to Romanov, things went from bad to worse during the peak season of pre-New Year sales. The shortage of certain strong drinks will therefore prove particularly keen, even though this shouldn’t be an issue for most items within the alcohol product range.

A representative of Central Excise Customs says importers getting new-format stamps shouldn’t be a problem: according to this representative, one can now apply for and obtain old-format stamps as well as apply for the new-format ones and get them in 2019, as soon as the contract between the Federal Customs Service and Goznak has been signed. The latter is ready to start making and supplying excise duty stamps after the former places an order for them. The contract was signed on December 14.

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