Customs Rules of the Russian Federation
Arrival: Generally, tourists have nothing to declare and pass through the green corridor. If you do have something to declare, you pass through the red corridor. In case you are not certain, go through the red corridor and ask the officer. Individuals are allowed to bring personal goods into the Russian Federation in accompanied or unaccompanied baggage, without paying customs duties, unless such goods are intended for production or other commercial operations, unless the total value of such goods exceeds 1500 Euro and unless their total weight exceeds 50 kg. Traveling with pets, obtain a veterinary health certificate and license.
Declare cash larger than $10,000 (if you plan to leave the country with a large sum, as you cannot leave the country with more money than you brought in without paying taxes), valuable jewelry, artwork, antiques, goods with value exceeding 1500 Euro and weight over 50 kg, weapons and drugs, tobacco (over 50 cigars or 100 cigarills, 200 cigarettes, 0.25 kg pipe tobacco), alcohol (over 3 liters). Tobacco and alcohol limits are valid for tourists over 18 years old. Your personal computer, ipod, telephone do not need to be declared. Import or export such items as narcotics and weapons without permission may lead to your arrest.
Some valuable goods may be declared for temporary importation - so you should not pay tax for over limit of 1500 Euro. For over limit of goods you should pay 30% of their customs value, not less than 4 euro per kg with the total value not exceeding 650,000 rubles and the weight not exceeding 200 kg. You show what you are declaring and have your customs form stamped so that you can then take this item out of the country when you leave. Declaration must be presented to customs officials at the time of departure.
Departure: Leaving is very similar to entering the country. Go through the red corridor, presenting the declaration from and the items declared. If you declared nothing on the way into the country and have bought nothing that you need to declare upon departure you can pass through the green corridor.
When going through customs you will need to declare any artwork or antiques (including old books) you have purchased. Generally anything made prior to World War II (before 1941) is considered an antique and will need special permission in order to be taken out of the country. Travelers should obtain receipts for all high-value items (including caviar) purchased in Russia. Any article that could appear old or as having cultural value to the customs service, including artwork, icons, samovars, rugs, military medals and antiques, must have a certificate indicating that it has no historical or cultural value. It is illegal to remove such items from Russia without this certificate.
You may leave Russia with currency up to 3,000 U.S. dollars without a customs declaration and up to 10,000 U.S. dollars (or travel cheques) by submitting a customs declaration form. Attempts to depart Russia with more money than allowed under customs regulations may cause possible detention, arrest, fines and confiscation of currency. Exportation of coins of precious metals from the Russian Federation is allowed within the limits of the established value restrictions, the total value of the exported goods not exceeding the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars. Precious stones (diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires) must be declared as well.
Always make sure you keep the stamped declaration until the end of your trip to avoid problems with temporary imported goods. The customs declaration form is usually available in several languages. Lost declaration cannot be replaced. If you do not agree with actions of an official of the customs body, you may appeal to the superior officer or to the superior customs body. In case of any problems call North-West Customs Department telephone +7 812 2750338.
Usually customs officers are quite loyal to the tourists. Just follow the rules, use credit cards instead of cash, declare valuable goods and keep the declaration until the end of the trip. We wish you have a wonderful trip without any difficulties at the customs.
Information provided by Major-General of Customs Service of the Russian Federation Alexander Puchkov
. For details apply www.puchkov.net