Communications Ministry Against 20% Customs Duty on Online Purchases

20 May 2019 (09:19)

UrBC, Moscow, May 20, 2019. Russia’s Communications Ministry turned down the Russian Association of Internet Trade Companies’ initiative to charge a 20% customs duty on every purchase Russians make at international online stores, Izvestia reports.

According to the Russian Government’s analytical center’s calculations, a 20% customs duty would result in growing prices and in RUB 121 billion a year in extra tax burden for the Russian shoppers.

The proposed initiative will most likely result in an increased end user burden, given the expected rise in the price of an imported item; even if the government were to go through with the proposal, it would only make economic sense if it applied across the entire Eurasian Economic Community, Deputy Communications Minister Mikhail Mamonov says.

Mamonov believes that, unless the above-mentioned proviso holds, all international shipments will simply arrive in Russia from some third country (transiting via the Eurasian Economic Community member states), and Russian business will have nothing to win.

The Industry & Trade Ministry also feels it is expedient to keep the current Eurasian Economic Community regulations in place: you can get up to €500 worth of goods a month shipped from abroad at no extra cost, duty-wise.

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