Tariffs and regulations

Tariffs and duty rates are constantly revised and are subject to change without notice.

Austrade strongly recommends you reconfirm these prior to selling to Russia.

For further information please see the Russian Federal Customs Service website (in English and Russian).

Tariffs and non-tariff barriers


Russia makes regular adjustments to its national import regime, including tariffs and licensing. Frequent changes and imperfect communications can lead to inconsistent interpretations of Russian customs regulation. It is essential to have a competent intermediary or partner in the market. It is recommended that Australian exporters contact Austrade in Moscow or Vladivostok with specific enquiries.

Duties are usually according to value ad valorem, and assessed on the cost, insurance and freight (CIF) value (Incoterms 2000) at the point of crossing the Russian border. Many types of goods are subject to minimum values on a per kilogram basis, as prescribed by Russian customs, in an effort by the authorities to crack down on avoidance of duties payment through ‘dual invoicing’ practices.

As a member of the Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, Russia is a part of an economic space containing more than 180 million people. The EEU is a political and economic union. It has introduced the free movement of goods, capital, services and people. In addition to the common market for goods, services, capital and labor, the member states will work out joint economic and regulatory policies and establish the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, the Eurasian Development Bank, and the Eurasian Inter-Parliamentary Assembly.

Non-tariff barriers

Customs requirements in Russia are often complex and time consuming. Generally, the Russian company is responsible for customs procedures. Austrade in Moscow and Vladivostok can provide advice on customs matters and refer you to specialist Russian customs agents and brokers, if necessary, to clarify specific issues.

Import duties apply to most goods. In addition to general customs requirements, import licences and product specific approvals are necessary for a wide range of items, including food and beverage products, pharmaceuticals, industrial equipment and more. Pre-shipment technical inspection (at the exporter’s expense) may sometimes be required.

Product certification, labelling and packaging

Labelling and marking

All products sold in Russia must include relevant information about the product and bulk shipments contain basic information that is written in the Russian language. Goods should be securely packed and it is important to take into account the specifics of the Russian market, including its often extreme climatic conditions and rough handling on roads, railways and ports.

Outer containers should bear the contact number, consignee's and port mark and be numbered according with packing list.

Accurate documentation is vital in Russia. Failure to comply with the documentation specified by your importer/customer can lead to lengthy delays and additional expense.

Special certificates

A wide range of goods require a certificate of conformity to allow customs clearance. Some of these requirements are mandatory while some are voluntary. The certificate must refer to Russian safety standards and may be obtained prior to export from local Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) offices in Australia. Alternatively, certification can be handled on arrival in Russia through local service providers, although this may entail lengthy delays in customs clearance. 

SGS Moscow
Tel: +7 495 775 4620
Fax: +7 495 775 4450

The list of products requiring certification includes the following:

  • agricultural and foods products
  • children’s clothing
  • footwear
  • prams
  • toys
  • electrical and telecommunications equipment
  • transportation equipment and tools
  • pharmaceuticals and healthcare products.

To receive a certificate of conformity for food products and additives, a hygiene certificate is necessary. These are usually issued by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources based on health certificates, together with testing of a product sample by an independent laboratory accredited by the Russian health authorities.

All goods of animal origin require the appropriate veterinary certificate indicating that they are free from disease. Australia has in place dual language veterinary certificates for a series of products, although this list is not exhaustive. Other products not covered by agreed certificates are normally acceptable, provided they meet the required equivalent in Russian. For specific advice, exporters should contact their Russian partners, Austrade Moscow or Vladivostok, or the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

All plants, parts and products (other than dried vegetables) require phytosanitary certificates issued by the competent authority in the country of origin. In Australia, this is usually the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources or the state/territory Department of Agriculture.

All medicines and pharmaceutical goods should be registered or certified by the Russian Ministry of Public Health. Special labelling and packaging requirements may apply.

Methods of quoting and payment

Russian Roubles, US dollars and Euros are preferred currencies for payment.

All hard currency settlements with Russian companies and organisations should be made to the exporter's bank through authorised Russian commercial banks. Some exporters prefer the customer to make payment from hard currency accounts held offshore in countries such as the UK, US, Switzerland, Cyprus, Luxembourg, etc.

An increasing number of Russian buyers are demanding flexible payment options, mainly revolving credit lines. Letters of credit are normally used due to high local interest rates.

Foreign payment records of Russian companies can be obtained via information services such as Dun & Bradstreet and CoFace. Some companies obtain this data in lieu of credit reports, which are not always available in this market. Corporate credit bureaux such as CoFace have presence in Russia, but the level of information available is generally less than in more developed markets.

Documentary requirements

Advice provided here should always be confirmed in advance with your importer or customer, as requirements vary.

Pro-forma invoice

A pro-forma invoice is used when the goods are being supplied free of charge to the consignee.

Commercial invoice

There is no prescribed form of commercial invoice. Usually a minimum of seven copies must be supplied (the number is normally stipulated in the contract). Details must be provided in accordance with the payment conditions of the contract. The invoice must show:

  • country of origin
  • details of packing materials
  • marks and numbers of packages
  • weights (net, gross and tare)
  • quantity and description of goods
  • unit prices and total shipment value
  • selling price to purchaser
  • place of final dispatch from country of export.

Bill of lading/airway bill

A minimum of three copies must be provided.

Packing list

Six copies are required, providing a summary of the total shipment.

Certificate of origin

The terms of the contract determine whether the seller or buyer obtains insurance for the shipment. When the seller (under the covering contract) has purchased insurance, instructions from the importer and insurance company should be tracked to prevent problems.

Public health requirements

The Russian Federation maintains strict standards and controls over quarantine, safety, health, food and drugs. Check what certificates are required and when they need to be obtained.

Weights and measures

The metric system is used throughout the Russian Federation.