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Russia e-commerce couriers responsible for merchants’ import VAT

  • Feb 17, 2018 | Richard Asquith

Russia e-commerce couriers responsible for merchants’ import VAT

Russia is to make B2C e-commerce couriers responsible for declaring and deducting VAT and customs on imported goods. The measure was announced by the Ministry of Finance in a draft regulation on 13 February 2018.

Import VAT and customs deductions and remittance by delivery agents

Currently, the importer of record is accountable for reporting and paying any Russian import taxes.  Under the proposal, the Russian post office and large private courier companies would become responsible for declaring the VAT and customs value of goods they import on behalf of non-resident merchants. They will pay the corresponding amounts directly to the tax authorities on behalf of their e-commerce seller customers.

Such delivery agents will have to register as ‘authorised operators’, will have to be established for over two years, and operate an advanced IT system configured to the Russian customs systems. They will have to provide a guarantee to the tax office of  €1.5 million to enter the scheme.

A pilot scheme will run from May to December 2018.


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VP Global Indirect Tax
Richard Asquith
VP Global Indirect Tax Richard Asquith
Richard Asquith is VP Global Indirect Tax at Avalara, helping businesses understand their compliance obligations as they grow globally. He can be contacted at: richard.asquith@avalara.com. He is part of the European leadership team which won International Tax Review's 2019 Tax Technology Firm of the Year. Richard qualified as an accountant with KPMG in the UK, and went on to work in Hungary, Russia and France with EY.