All online purchases are more expensive than € 20 in Russia

Published on September 30, 2017

All online purchases are more expensive than € 20 in Russia

    The government decided to levy a duty on Russians when importing any goods more expensive than € 20 into the country. It is reported by RBC, referring to the draft federal budget. Restrictions on purchases will be reduced by 50 times: now the threshold for duty-free import is € 1000. The new law actually wants to equalize Russia with Belarus, where the threshold for parcels from abroad is set at € 22. Overseas purchases - bread and salt of mail forwarders, and the new sharp crackdown does not please us, to put it mildly. But even ordinary buyers, who have never ordered anything from foreign online stores, may suffer from new fees.



    What's the idea


    The authorities do not like very much when ordinary Russians buy goods abroad. First, it does not drip any penny into the budget. Secondly, domestic stores are suffering, unable to compete (for example, who will buy iPhone in his mind in Russia, if even Apple sells it here for $ 300 more than in the US?). The situation has not become better even with the fall of the ruble. In 2017, the share of foreign online commerce in our country will be about 40%. This is 420 billion rubles past the Russian treasury.


    The twenty largest domestic online retailers have joined the association of ACIT to lobby for their interests. The maximum task was to overlap the boundaries for parcels from Amazon, Aliexpress, eBay and other foreign sites. Since 2014, there have been many suggestions on how to “equalize” domestic stores with foreign ones, and at the same time fill the budget. It was planned, for example, a multiple increase in duties on imported electronics . Or the opening of 5% of packages to look for “counterfeit” in them (and in fact, of course, so that users would think three times before taking something in the USA or in China). The head of AKIT even stated that "buying on Aliexpress, you are, in fact, committing theft!"




    A new fifty-fold reduction in the duty-free limit is the easiest to implement and at the same time the most radical solution for buyers. If earlier we could afford to deliver the latest iPhones, drones, and game consoles, then after the limitations of the money limit, only a thermos would be enough. But the government expects that in 2018 customers will be able to collect an additional 30 billion rubles, and in 2019 - 60 billion rubles. In 2017, for comparison, about 1.6 billion rubles will be raised, almost forty times less.


    The new law is excellent, in our opinion, was commented by the former head of the Post of Russia Dmitry Strashnov - the man who won the post collapse and turned the company into a competitive enterprise. According to him,

    Such a threshold will complicate the lives of bona fide buyers of goods from abroad. For twenty-two euros you can buy perhaps some kind of trinket, probably a case for iPhone. If we are talking about clothes, about good devices, then this amount cuts off almost the entire range of high-quality goods. This is a blow to people.

    The draft law was approved by the government and sent to the State Duma. That is going to take it on October 27 in the first reading. As follows from the draft federal budget, the norm will come into effect on July 1, 2018.


    Pair of numbers


    • In 2017, the Russians will receive 400 million foreign parcels.
    • The number of incoming international parcels in 2016-2017 increased by 49%.
    • The share of foreign online commerce in Russia will be almost 40% (420 billion rubles).
    • From October 2014, ACIT complained to the Ministry of Finance about the lack of duties on foreign goods, making their prices uncompetitive compared with Western stores and the “impoverished Russian budget” of $ 400 million a year.
    • In 2016, it was decided to tighten duties in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union. The document suggested a reduction in the duty-free trade limit to € 500 in 2018 and to € 200 in 2019.
    • Now - the limit is cut to € 20 already from July 1, 2018.

    Our opinion


    The government will introduce a fee, this is obvious. Since 2014, we are constantly talking about this in our field of online commerce. Such a serious limitation will make purchases from Amazon, Aliexpress and other foreign stores much less profitable, and many buyers in 2018 will switch back to domestic sites (and many of them did not disconnect from them). Traffic on Pochtoy.com will fall. We will not be able to fight this, we are a small and law-abiding organization. We will wait until common sense will prevail, and the limit will be removed. To maintain the main assets - two large warehouses in America for packing packages - money should be enough.


    What does this mean for you, ordinary buyers? Obviously, another round of price increases. See it. Now gadgets in Russia are steadily worth 20-30% more expensive than abroad. And fashionable clothes and, say, New Balance sneakers - 100% (we carried out the calculation ). Why such a difference, because they are not even covered "Mikhalkov's tax"? In our opinion, partly, the fact is that fewer people buy clothes and shoes over the Internet abroad. And they have no choice: they have to take in boutiques at exorbitant prices. So, from 2018 no one will have such a choice. And the shops belonging to AKIT will be free to increase the cost of goods as they please. After seeing the prices, people will no longer go looking for happiness on Aliexpress, Amazon, NeweGG and BHphotovideo.




    There is some positive, at least we think so. Even after the introduction of the collection to buy in foreign stores will still remain more profitable. Through Pochtoy.com and now they deliver parcels more than € 1000. Under the summer boom of video cards, we sent dozens of such packages. If the cost of the parcel goes beyond the limit of € 1000, the duty for it is 30% of the amount of the excess limit. It is very noticeable for the buyer, but not so much, considering the margins in Russian stores. The main disadvantage is the extra paperwork that our customers do not like so much. Those who are accustomed to replenish the balance on our website once and then wait for the courier at the door with goods from America do not always agree to pay the duty at the post office or, even worse, deal with customs. Especially if the savings when buying abroad will not be 10-20 thousand rubles, as now,


    What can be done


    For our part, we will try to work out the system of payment of customs fees, so as not to shift it to our customers. There is nothing complicated there, but for some reason people are very afraid of the words “customs duty”. Well, you - do not postpone the expensive purchase for the second half of 2018. Camera, monitor, smartphone, set-top box ... Now it still comes at no extra charge of around € 1000. The only thing for which you “overpay” is for delivery. With Pochtoy.com delivery of goods from the USA to Russia costs from $ 8.99, for example. Through us, even Lego sets and T-shirts are now being ordered in America, because it turns out to be profitable. Not kidding.


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