The gate closes. Exactly one month left until the threshold of duty-free purchases is reduced

    Maybe you forgot, because this is not so hot infopovod as this spring , but the law on the gradual reduction of the limit of duty-free shopping has not gone anywhere. And it will soon take effect, to the delight of national retailers.

    In the previous series

    Since 2016, the number of overseas shipments has increased by 56%. In 2017 alone, Russians received 400 million foreign parcels. The share of foreign online commerce in Russia is almost 40% (420 billion rubles). People tend to buy cheaper, and gradually realize that the online stores from Russia have not come together.

    The influential organization AKIT (and this association of Eldorado, Ozon, M. Video, Svyaznoy, Yulmart, re: Store, and the Russian representative offices of Sony and Samsung, among others) didn’t like this situation. Therefore, she tried to think of a way to make us buy clothes and electronics exclusively within the country. The cost of individual delivery from abroad is very low, and in the conditions of the need to pay extra taxes and fees, they cannot physically offer the same prices as in large foreign online stores.

    The solution was found to be very simple: for “leveling up the conditions”, when making overseas purchases, at least pay tax. Ideally, with every such purchase. But then other influential lobbyists joined the fight. Among them - “Mail of Russia”, which from the growth of the number of foreign parcels in the big win, and even in recent years, suddenly began to receive billions in net profit. Almost 70% of all mailings are now made up of international parcels, and the state company was not going to refuse from such a market.

    After a bit of freezing, customs, AKIT, the Ministry of Finance and the Russian Post reached a compromise. The fee for parcels will be reduced, but to a certain level. For a long time, the figure of € 22 was twinkling on the horizon. Apparently, any other proposal would seem to us all then quite adequate.

    In the end, put it that way. From January 1, 2019, the government reduces the threshold of duty-free purchases by half: from the current € 1,000 to € 500 per month. Buy something worth more than 500 euros, abroad, you still can. But for this you will have to pay a fee, 30% of the amount exceeding the limit. And from January 1, 2020, the threshold will be reduced even further, to € 200.  

    In other words - if you were going to take something abroad that is worth more than € 500, or to collect a lot of different packages with a total value above € 500 per month, you need to do it now. From January 1, you have to pay substantially more. In Russia, expensive goods, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, according to expectations, will also become more expensive. No wonder that the organization of the largest Russian stores fought for the introduction of a new restriction. It can be assumed that prices will gradually grow by 10-15%. And this despite the fact that, for example, electronics are now in Russia, and so are much more expensive than in the vast majority of other countries.

    How it will work

    From January 1, 2019, a parcel more expensive than € 500 will have to pay a fee - 30% of everything above this amount.

    For example, you have scored goods worth a total of $ 700. This is € 618 at the current rate. Exceeding the limit is € 618 - € 500 = € 118. You will have to pay € 118 × 30% = € 35.4 to customs (approximately $ 40, or 2,650 rubles). If you send a lot of small parcels, the total cost of which per month also ultimately exceeds the limit of € 500 - you will also have to pay for everything that is “on top”. Shipping cost is not included in the limit is not included.

    How to pay customs duty?

    Here, in fact, everything is simple. For others, we will not say, but our question is always solved online. When the parcel arrives in Russia, it goes through customs clearance. If in the process it turns out that the limit is exceeded, an e-mail notification is sent to you about it, and we send a receipt for payment. With it, you pay a fee (for example, a bank card). After that, the customs "releases" the parcel, and it is sent to your home. Well, or in one of the pickup points.

    In principle, there is nothing terrible, but all the same, most users prefer with customs, if possible, not to get involved. Well, paying something “from above” is always unpleasant.

    In general, PSA: if you put something off, now is the perfect time to finally pack up and buy. New Year is coming, plus potentially very big savings for expensive goods. Just make an order right now, in the coming weeks - that the parcel is guaranteed to cross Russian customs before January 1.

    Honey spoon

    There is some (small) good news. Weight limits remain the same. It will still be possible to carry 31 kg every month without paying a fee.

    Well, and yet - € 500 is far from the worst limit. Many countries restrict imports much more. Most of the purchases going through are now invested in the new limit. Through the "Post of Russia" - all the more.

    It is surprising, by the way, that such laws, it seems, are mainly trying to block China (which accounts for 94% of foreign parcels), but in fact, it is the direction from Europe and the USA that most expensive goods come from. If the government, customs and ACIT were really impatient to limit overseas parcels, they would reduce not the amount of the duty-free limit, but the number of different parcels in one month. People who take wiring and headphones in China every two days will not feel a new restriction on themselves. But those who every six months want to buy an iPhone or laptop for $ 300 cheaper will be forced to face an additional obstacle in the form of payment of duty. Apparently, with the "Post of Russia" jokes are bad.

    Well, and - we still have a whole year to prepare for a really serious limitation. From January 1, 2020, the bar will drop to € 200. For the Chinese direction, again, not the biggest problem, but for Europe and the United States this is already a serious percentage of the directions. We will look at how much the prices of Russian retailers will grow, and whether buying abroad will remain more profitable for users, even taking into account longer delivery times.

    Taking over foreign experience

    In fact, the Russian government is not the first (rather, even one of the last) in terms of such a restriction of imports. True, other countries did not particularly benefit from such laws, rather the opposite.

    So, after the threshold in Belarus in 2016 was reduced from € 200 to € 22, the volume of parcels from abroad decreased five times. But the various "gray" intermediaries flourished, "solving" the issue. Goods are simply imported into neighboring countries, and then cross the border in someone's truck. It got to the point that local mail requires an increase in the limit to at least € 150, so that they have something to deliver.

    After lowering the threshold to $ 50 in Brazil, official representative offices of Chinese companies left the market. Brazilian mail turnover has quadrupled, and the black market is growing at 50% a year, despite the growing economic crisis in the country. Illegal delivery of goods has become an excellent feeder for customs.

    It is also worth mentioning the experience of Canada, which spends $ 160 million per year to receive only $ 40 million of customs duties - from goods whose value exceeds $ 20 (this restriction has been in effect since 1985). Monthly limit is not there, you can carry as many packages at $ 19, as your heart desires.

    But even Canada, with its strictest duty-free law in the world, gave up the slack a month ago. In October, she signed an agreement with Mexico and the United States to raise this limit to $ 150, only for these two countries. It is expected that such a move will increase the volume of online purchases from the States at least 5-6 times. The Canadian government then stated that "this is done in the interests of Canadians, especially those who live in remote regions and who are more comfortable with ordering online."

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