Primary Customs Procedures in Russia
By Segey Talpa
1. Release for Domestic Consumption
Release of goods for domestic consumption constitutes a customs procedure under which the goods imported to the customs territory of the Russian Federation shall remain on that territory with any obligations to be exported from said territory.
Status of Goods Subject to the Customs Procedure of Release for Domestic Consumption:
1. For customs purposes, imported merchandise will acquire the status of goods released for free circulation in the customs territory of the Russian Federation upon disbursement of all the requisite customs duties and taxes and observance of the restrictions and prohibitions pursuant to the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activities.
2. In case of non-observance of said terms and conditions, imported merchandise shall be liable for conditional release pursuant to Russian Customs Code.
Export constitutes a customs procedure under which the goods in free circulation in the customs territory of the Russian Federation are exported from this territory without any obligations to import them back.
Terms and Conditions of Subjecting Goods to a Customs Procedure:
1. Export of goods is effected upon disbursement of all the requisite export customs duties, observance of the economic restrictions and prohibitions stipulated by the requirements of the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activities, and fulfilment of any other terms and conditions set forth by Russian Customs Code, other federal statutes and legal norms of the Russian Federation.
2. The goods exported in compliance with the customs export procedure shall be exempted from domestic taxes; the domestic taxes levied thereto shall be redeemed or reimbursed pursuant to the Russian legislation on taxes and duties.
3. International Customs Transit
International customs transit constitutes a customs procedure under which foreign goods transit the customs territory of the Russian Federation in customs custody between the point of their entry to and departure from the customs territory of the Russian Federation (if said transit constitutes a leg of their itinerary which begins and ends outside the boundaries of the customs territory of the Russian Federation) exempt from any customs taxes and duties or application of any economic restrictions and prohibitions of economic nature stipulated by the Federal Law of the Russian Federation on the State Regulation of Foreign Trade Activities.
Terms and Conditions of Subjecting Goods to the Customs Procedure:
1. Subject to the customs procedure of international customs transit may be any foreign merchandise except the goods whose transit is prohibited pursuant to federal laws, other statutes, and legal norms of the Russian Federation and the international treaties to which the Russian Federation is party.
2. Federal laws, other statutes, and legal norms of the Russian Federation and the international treaties of the Russian Federation may establish additional terms and conditions stipulating placement of merchandise under the customs procedure of international customs transit.
Application to International Customs Transit of Rules and Requirements Applicable to Domestic Customs Transit in accordance with Russian Customs Code:
1. Under conditions of international customs transit, issuance of permissions for international customs transit, as well as the rules stipulating the time limits for effecting international customs transit, identification of merchandise, measures ensuring fulfilment of the statutes of the customs legislation of the Russian Federation shall be exercised by customs authorities pursuant to the provisions contained in Russian Customs Code regulating domestic customs transit and applicable to the international customs transit procedure.
2. The rights, obligations, and responsibility of the carrier or forwarder under the conditions of international customs transit shall be regulated by the provisions of Russian Customs Code.
Transhipment of International Transit Merchandise and Other Operations with Transit Merchandise:
1. Transhipment of international transit merchandise from a means of transport by which said merchandise was imported to the customs territory of the Russian Federation to a means of transport that will carry said merchandise from this territory shall be effected upon permission in that regard issued by the customs office in whose region this transhipment occurs. If transhipment of transit goods from one means of transport to another may be effected without damaging any customs seals and stamps affixed to the merchandise, it may be effected with a preliminary notification of the customs office concerned.
2. Temporary placement of transit merchandise in warehouses (storage, breaking up, or accumulation of lots, and other operations) in the customs territory of the Russian Federation is permissible provided all terms and conditions stipulated by Russian Customs Code are observed.
3. Any operations with merchandise under the international customs transit procedure, which are not stipulated by Items 1 and 2 herein, may only be conducted in the event of a real threat of destruction, loss, irretrievable loss, or major damage pending to merchandise and/or a means of transport.
Completion of the Customs Procedure:
1. The customs transit procedure is completed at the instance of exportation of transit merchandise from the customs territory of the Russian Federation.
The carrier shall be obliged to present transit merchandise for inspection, submit a customs declaration and other documents pertaining to merchandise international customs transit to the customs authorities at the point of destination. The customs office concerned shall be obliged to perform all the operations required for the completion of the international customs transit procedure and issue permission for the departure of goods and means of transport from the customs territory of the Russian Federation on the day of presentation of transit merchandise and submission of requisite documents.
In case of exportation of transit merchandise by separate lots, the international customs transit procedure shall be regarded as completed upon the departure of the last lot thereof from the customs territory of the Russian Federation.
2. The international customs transit procedure may also be completed at the instance of placement of merchandise under other customs procedures provided all requirements stipulated by Russian Customs Code are observed.
Peculiarities of Application of the Customs Transit Procedure:
1. In those instances when the point of entry of merchandise and means of transport to the customs territory of the Russian Federation coincides with the point of its departures from said territory the international customs transit procedure may be simplified. The carrier and the forwarder will only need to present the documents and the information which are required at the instance of arrival of merchandise and means of transport, whereas permission for transit is issued on the day of presentation of merchandise and submission of documents and information to the customs authorities.
2. In case transit merchandise is transhipped in the place specified in Item 1 herein, i.e., from a means of transport which was used for delivery of merchandise to the means of transport used merchandise departure, transhipment operations may only be permitted by the customs authorities. The customs authorities may issue such permission to the carrier or forwarder provided the latter have submitted all the documents and information pursuant to Russian Customs Code.
3. The customs authorities may deny permission for cargo-handling operations with transit merchandise only in case such operations may lead to loss of merchandise or change of its consumer properties.
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