ARCHANGELSK, February 27. /TASS/. First tax-free system centers will be opened in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters on Tuesday.
"We will launch this mechanism as an experiment in several shopping centers only. This will be Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi. If we do not see any threats, then we will try to provide an opportunity for the largest shopping centers in the majority of cities, where the [FIFA] World Cup games will take place, to introduce such a mechanism," the official said. Facilities in airports should also be ready, he said.
"Terminals should be provided with appropriate infrastructure, so that airport owners allocated areas for customs officers to service flows of people applying for refund. If this runs smoothly and we do not find any "holes" and opportunities to manipulate laws, then in October this will apply to absolute any point, where goods can be sold and an appropriate refund can be given to a foreign tourist," Shuvalov said.
On February 12, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on introducing a tax-free shopping pilot program at airports in four Russian regions. The document comes into force from the date of its official publication, with the pilot regime lasting until December 31, 2018.
The tax-free system allows foreign nationals who are not members of the Eurasian Economic Union to receive a refund of VAT paid when purchasing goods on the territory of the Russian Federation when taking them outside the Eurasian Economic Union.