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Cross-Border E-Commerce Under Threat In Russia
January 24, 2014 11:36

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DHL and FedEx will no longer deliver online purchases to Russian consumers citing new customs regulations.
Two of the world's major operators say they do not want to put their reputation at risk because the new requirements have made the process much more complicated and are set to cause delays.
The customs officials have denied there are any new rules in place but the prospects of cross-border e-commerce appear to be gloomy after the statements made by the Kremlin and the government in late 2013.
In his annual address to the Federal Assembly, the Russian president suggested slapping online trade with more taxes that would be used to finance the construction of engineering infrastructure.

According to the authorities, bricks-and-mortar stores are suffering from unequal competition.

As a follow-up, Andrey Belousov, presidential aide for economy, promised to tackle this inequality in a very cautious manner because it would have an impact on hundreds of thousands of people. 

“Online stores pay almost no imports duties or VAT. This is not quite fair,” the RIA Novosti news agency quoted Belousov as saying.
One of the steps the government has advocated is limiting the purchases that are exempt from any duties to 150 euro, down from the 1,000 euro threshold today.
Early, Russia-IC reported that Russia is one of the five hottest export opportunities for e-commerce companies across the world as revealed by a PayPal study.

According to the joint survey with Nielsen, foreign businesses stepped up their exports to Russia – US (41%), UK (36%), Germany (75%), Australia (67%), China (55%), and Brazil (168%).
In 2012, the number of items supplied from foreign stores rose from 24 to 30 million. 
The volume of online shopping done by Russians reached RUR 400 billion, said a recent survey.

According to Data Insight, the bulk of the orders were made in foreign Internet stores, with the most popular items being clothes, footwear, and cosmetics. 

These goods often cost half as much as in Russia, even if you factor in shipping costs.

You can also read our reports on fashion online stores to check out what famous Russian designers have on offer. 

Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Russian trade     

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