Embassy of Malta to the Russian Federation
Korovy Val 7
Entrance 8
Floor 7
Apartment 219
Moscow, 119049

+7(499) 2301981
+7(499) 2302525
+7(499) 2371939
+7(499) 2372158
 VOIP (Calling from Malta)
+356 22042062

Consulate of Malta to the Russian Federation
House 18/7,
Donskaya Street,
Moscow, 119049
+7(495) 7859920
+7(495) 7859921
 VOIP (Calling from Malta)
+356 22042063,
+356 22042064

Exporting to Russia

Russia is the largest country in the world with its territory occupying one-ninth of the world’s land surface area. Its territory extends over 11 time zones covering the whole of northern Asia and part of Europe. The population of Russia stands at 142 million, out of which over 10 million live in its capital city Moscow, making it by far the largest city in Russia.  
Administratively, the Russian Federation is divided into 83 subjects commonly known as ‘regions’. 46 of these are called officially as oblast meaning region, 21 are republics, 4 are autonomous districts, 9 are territories, 2, namely Moscow and St Petersburg, are federal cities, and one is an autonomous region.
Russia imports most of its needs in terms of consumer goods. The market for most consumer products is concentrated in major cities. In order to export to Russia it is recommended to make use of the services of a distributor who will provide the exporting partner with logistical support ranging from customs clearance, warehousing and a network of agents to sell the products in other Russian regions.
Before entering into the Russian market it is important to assess risk and carry out checks on the importing business partner. Advice on tax and legal issues is recommended prior to commencement of business.
By way of general information, Russia has in place free trade agreements with countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Generally, the Russian importing company is responsible for the customs procedures and all customs payment should be on clearing goods through customs. Imports of certain products require licences, certain imports require sanitation certificates while other imports require certificates of conformity. A serious Russian importing company should be able to help in submitting the necessary documents for clearance with the customs authorities.

The classification of goods is based on an internationally adopted Harmonized System of Coding and import duties apply to most goods. Generally the customs duty rates in Russia are as valorem in nature. However other types of import duties exist based on weight, volume or quantity. Customs duty rates vary widely from 100% on spirits to 0 % on certain types of printed matter and other necessary items. On average, duty rates range between 5% and 20 % of the goods’ customs value.
In addition, there is excise tax on certain categories of goods. For most goods, import VAT rate of about 18% of the customs value, inclusive of customs duty and excise (if applicable), apply. Food items generally have a 10% or less import VAT rate.   
This information is given for guidance purposes only and does not constitute a professional advice in terms of law.