Tax free in Russia – first results

Dec, 11 2018

Since April 10th, the Tax free system has been operating in Russia. It allows foreigners, who export purchased in Russia goods, to refund value added tax. This service is available for citizens of any countries that are not members of the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia). For using this service, it is necessary to purchase goods within one day for an amount at least 10 000 rubles and then to present them with receipt to customs officer at airport.

Standard VAT rate to be refunded is 18%, for some goods (medicines, children products) this rate is equal to 10%. But VAT rate isn’t refunded for purchasing alcohol, tobacco and other excisable goods.

On November 1st, the Head of Federal Customs Service summarized the first results of this service activity. He reported that goods amounting more than 5 billion rubles were purchased for these 7 months, the average receipt was 100 000 rubles, the most active buyers were the citizens of China.

Tax free will become more accessible in 2019. There is a plan to create unified online platform that will unite the customs service, tax services and Tax free operators, and will provide an opportunity to make VAT refunds online, without approach to customs officers.