Getting The Goods To Your Customers


  • Ranked 90th out of 160 countries in the World Bank’s 2014 International Logistics Performance Index.
  • Spans vast distances with a total surface area of 17,075,000km2, covering two continents and 11 time zones.
  • Significant variances in climate and topography, so appropriate partners and packaging, particularly for goods heading to Russia’s Far East, are of utmost importance. Here, temperatures can reach -60oC in the winter and goods must largely be delivered by airfreight.
  • Often greater-than-average shipping costs, particularly when compared with Western Europe, as goods frequently need to be transported over significant distances.
  • The greater distance a customer lives from large Russian cities, the more likely it is that transport complications will arise.
  • Due to a preference for cash-on-delivery, Russia experiences high returns rates.
  • Many retailers in Russia endeavour to provide a variety of delivery options including free next-day delivery and ‘try before you buy’ in accordance with consumer expectation in Russia’s more populous regions.
  • Russian consumers typically expect to wait 7-10 working days to receive a parcel, but customers located in more remote regions are more flexible in their expectations.



  • Customs clearance occurs, and all duties and taxes are paid, before goods are released to a purchaser/consumer. Payment can be made either before products cross into Russia, or in advance of them leaving designated warehouses.
  • Responsibility for paying customs duties and taxes always falls on the purchaser, and all relevant documentation must be prepared and presented for customs clearance.
  • A slightly different clearance procedure is followed depending upon whether a parcel is carried by the Russian Post or a commercial carrier.
  • Certain categories of goods, e.g. shampoos, will require additional documentation in order to be imported into Russia.
  • Russian customs operate sophisticated risk management systems, which fully comply with the standards set by the European Union.


  • If the total value of a parcel is less than EUR 1,000, and its full weight does not exceed 31 kg, the package will be exempt from custom duties.
  • This exception only applies where the total value of online purchases received by a customer during any one month does not exceed a limit of EUR 1,000 or 31 kg.
  • If this value of EUR 1,000 is exceeded, a customs duty of 30% becomes payable on the amount exceeding this limit, and any packages above the weight of 31kg (in combined monthly purchases) will be charged a duty rate of EUR 4 per additional kg.
  • Where a customer’s monthly orders exceed both maximum weight and value, a greater charge is applied.

NB Other considerations and procedures apply to B2B customs clearance in Russia. Please seek appropriate advice.


Costs and timeframes differ depending upon the logistics partner selected. Though the Russian Post holds a natural monopoly in Russia, it is reputed to suffer from significant shortcomings and does not meet world service and delivery time standards. The Russian Post does, however, offer the greatest territorial coverage.

That said, there are a whole host of alternative providers offering a variety of services to meet your specific needs.

Other areas of interest

Meeting your regulatory responsibilities

Value Added Tax for goods sold into Russia can range from 10-18%; understanding the correct rate to charge is a minefield.

Reaching and engaging your consumers

With 88% of the population only speaking Russian and a consumer desire to chat before making an online purchase, localising for the Russian market is key

Receiving payment from your customers

Over 90% of consumers pay cash on delivery, but other electronic payment methods are rapidly gaining a foothold.

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