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Russian government spurs work on tougher e-commerce control

January 23, 2014, 15:18 UTC+3 DAVOS
The government is currently developing measures for more rigorous control on Internet transactions
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Russian post employee processing packages

Russian post employee processing packages

© ITAR-TASS/Valeri Sharifulin

DAVOS, January 23./ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s government will consolidate its position on tougher control of online shopping in foreign stores and bringing in tighter tax rules, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

“We have been ordered to discuss the issue within the government until February 11,” he said. “Then we will make some resume.”

The government is currently developing measures for more rigorous control on Internet transactions. Today, Russian customers can receive an order from a foreign country worth up to 1,000 euro tax-free. The Federal Customs Service proposed initially to lower the level of tax-exempt Internet purchases to 200 euro.

At the end of 2013, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov suggested reducing the level from 1,000 euro to 150 euro.

The Ministry of Economic Development also supported limits but considered 150 euro too low. Deputy head Alexey Likhachev said duty-free purchases for Russian citizens should be limited to “several hundred euro”.

It also opposed lowering the current 30 percent customs duty on imported goods exceeding the limit and suggested harmonizing these restrictions in all countries of the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan to avoid illegal trade flows.

In January, Head of the Federal Customs Service Andrey Belyaninov told journalists that online shopping limits remained under discussion. Besides lowering the duty-free purchase level to 150 euro, it was proposed to limit the weight of imported goods to 10 kilograms and the possibility of effecting such transactions at no more than once a month.

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