31 January 2014

Russia’s possible tariff on foreign online purchases, hopes to boost local retailers

Russia’s e-commerce industry has witnessed an impressive increase of 50% in 2013, over the previous corresponding period and the amount from foreign online purchases reached an estimated 100-120 billion rubles.

Even though current Russian regulations, state that, overseas web purchases of less than €1,000 and under 31 kilograms are exempt from customs duties, online shopping seems to be costing big to Russian retailers. To remedy that, a new tax is being discussed, which will target foreign web purchases, especially from Chinese countries.

Beliyaninov Andrey, chief of the Federal Customs Service of Russia, noted that, there is consideration of a 30% tariff on web purchases from foreign countries over €150. The Russian custom service also suggested to impose a tariff of 1%-10% for all overseas online purchases, regardless of the amount.

Net-a-porter, one of Britain’s most prestigious online luxury fashion shops, announced that, due to these impending new regulations, it will stop shipping to Russia, until further notice. Amazon and many other international online stores, also declared that they will hault any services to Russian customers.

Along with Russia, Argentina also discusses about restricting the number of purchases its people can make from foreign online retailers, and retailers in Australia have been pressuring the government to put a tariff on foreign online purchases, which take up approximately 60-70% of the country’s online sales.


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