ST. PETERSBURG, June 8. /TASS/. Most of the purchases using tax free system in Russia were made by Chinese citizens, First Deputy Head of the Russian Federal Customs Service of the Russian Federation Ruslan Davydov during his working trip to St. Petersburg.
"The overwhelming majority of those who made such purchases with tax free system are Chinese citizens. In money terms 91% of all goods were purchased by them, all the rest are behind with a large margin," he said.
According to him, the Customs Service expects that during the 2018 World Cup that will be held in 11 cities of Russia from June 14 to July 15, the volume of purchases using the tax free system will grow several times.
Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov said on Wednesday that the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade of plans in 2019 to extend the tax free system to all Russian cities after a pilot project in the cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. "After testing the pilot tax free project, we plan to extend it to the whole country starting from 2019," he said.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Viktor Yevtukhov told TASS earlier that the tax free system will be launched in several cities hosting the 2018 World Cup from April 10.
"Starting from April 10, the outlets that will participate in the system, within the locations, so far the limited number that were defined, will be able to do it. Thus, the foreign citizens who purchase goods that are now in the system will be able to receive a partial VAT refund," Evtukhov said.
He expects the system to launch across the country by the end of 2018. "I hope that by the end of the year we will develop it all over Russia. I think that at the end of the year it will be decided that we will move from pilot to work across Russia," he added.
According to Evtukhov, VAT refund within the system will be partial - 10-12% of price of goods with the purchase of at least 10,000 rubles ($173).
The tax free system was launched in Russia in January 2018, but the electronic document circulation between retailers, the system operator, the Federal Customs Service, the Federal Tax Service and the buyer will not start until October 2018.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15 in 11 cities. The question whether there will be enough time to create a domestic operator of the tax free system remains open. At the end of March, Head of the Finance Ministry's tax department Alexey Sazanov told TASS that the tax free system at the airports of the cities hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup will be launched by early June. It is planned that the Russian operator will work together with two foreign companies - Global Blue and Premier Tax Free.