Russia - Commercial Guide
Import Requirements and Documentation

Includes import documentation and other requirements for both the U.S. exporter and foreign importer.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

Importers are required to complete a Russian Customs freight declaration for every item imported.  A declaration must be supported by the following documents (when applicable):  contracts, commercial documents such as commercial invoices and packing lists, transport documents, import licenses, “TR TS” (technical regulation of technical safety) certificates, certificates of origin, sanitary certificates, import permission and licenses (e.g. for products containing encryption technology), and documents confirming the legitimacy of declarants/brokers/importers.  All Customs import declarations are submitted electronically. The website of Russia’s Federal Customs Service contains the link to the portal for electronic declarations.

As a result of regulatory changes in 2014, Russian Customs authorities should no longer require a separate submission of certificates or declarations of technical compliance as part of the clearance process, as the inclusion of such information within field 31 of the electronic import customs declaration should be sufficient.  However, it has been reported that Customs officials may require separate submission of these documents in practice, especially for controlled items. 

The EAEU maintains a unified list of goods for which import and export limitations and prohibitions apply in order to monitor and control movement of goods classified as sensitive by the member states or by the international community.  In Russia, import licenses are issued by the Ministry of Industry and Trade in accordance with the unified licensing rules of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Customs payments generally include import/export customs duties, taxes, and customs processing fees.  Some goods may also require payment of utilization fees (e.g. wheeled vehicles), or the new ecological fee, introduced on January 1, 2015 for the following groups of goods and packaging subject to recycling:
Textile articles (other than apparel) Plastic building products
Carpets and rugsOther articles of plastic
Protective overallsShaped and treated sheet glass
Other outer garmentsHollow glass
UnderclothesBarrels and similar containers of ferrous metals
Other clothing and accessoriesLight metal packaging
Knitted and crocheted garmentsComputers and peripherals
Wooden building materials and millworkCommunication equipment
Wooden packagingConsumer electronics
Corrugated paper and paperboard and paper and paperboard packagingOptical instruments and photographic equipment
Household and sanitary products and toiletriesAccumulators
Paper stationeryStorage batteries
Other articles of paper and paperboardElectric lighting equipment
Oil productsElectric domestic appliances
Rubber tires, casings and inner tubes; retreading of rubber tiresNon-electric domestic appliances
Other articles of rubberPower-operated hand tools
Plastic packaging articlesIndustrial refrigeration and ventilation equipment
 Other general-use machinery and equipment not included elsewhere

Rates of the ecological fee may be revised annually.
In addition, currency control regulations require the issuance of a transaction passport for both exports and imports to ensure that hard currency earnings are repatriated to Russia.