Exporting Vodka to Russia

Question posted by Tim Whiteley, on behalf of Cafe Artisan in BB4

I have been asked to supply bars in Moscow with my Flavoured vodka.
Need help to see if this is possible.
What paperwork, licences do I need to export alcohol.
What taxes etc need to be paid once in Russia ??

Kind Regards

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Ryan Beck, on behalf of BF Projects Limited in BT3.

Hi Tim

We have an Agent in Russia, so i will ask the question for you, I can also help in Exporting you're Vodka to Russia if you want to contact me on the below.



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Hello Tim,

To export your products to Russia you’ll have to do the following:

- Agree a contract with your customer
- Obtain relevant certificates
- Open the transaction passport
- Purchase the excise stamps, bar-code them, register in the Integrated State Electronic System (ЕГАИС)
- Paste the stamps to the products (bottles)
- Clear customs, pay customs fees
- Deliver the products to your customer

The documents needed for the certification of alcohol are test report, certificate of conformity and sanitary-epidemiological conclusion.

We should also say that generally, under exports and imports between a foreign company and a Russian company, the Russian company is responsible for the customs procedures. So we usually advise British exporters to find a reliable importer(s) in Russia, that will also obtain expertise on all the other export/import issues.

UKTI may assist your company with looking for the relevant partners, if needed.

For further information, please, contact me on Galina.Solomonova@fco.gov.uk or +7 (495) 9567476.

Kind Regards,
Galina Solomonova l Trade Adviser Food&Drinks l UK Trade & Investment Russia l
Tel: +7 (495) 956 7476 l Fax: +7 (495) 956 7480 l E-mail: Galina.Solomonova@fco.gov.uk

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HMRC Advisor, on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs in G67.

For exports of Vodka outside the EU, you will need to prepare and submit a Customs export declaration.

Export declarations have to be submitted to the Customs computer system known as CHIEF (Customs Handling of Import and Export Freight) electronically. Details of the current requirements for completion of the declarations can be found in Volume 3, Part 1.9 of the UK Tariff however we would recommend that you contact a freight forwarder who can prepare and submit declarations directly onto CHIEF on your behalf.

You will need to obtain a Customs commodity code for the goods, and depending on the type of goods involved, you may require more than one.

More detailed information on the above can be found in our Public Notice No.275 and section 13 of Notice 197 copies of which are available from our website at www.hmrc.gov.uk > Quick Links – Library, Official Statistics > Publications > Notices, Information Sheets and other reference materials > Import, export and international trade > Public Notices > Yes to open site > Scroll to notice required if necessary.

HM Revenue & Customs
Customs International Trade & Excise

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Philip Owen, on behalf of Volga Trader in Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan.

Russian alcohol laws alter regularly. This is to a degree deliberate in order to drive the mafia out of the business. The measures have largely succeeded in achieving this. Corruption levels are much lower than they used to be, as is general in Russia. This year's changes seem to be related to the re-entry of Georgian wine into the Russian market.

Two licences are required to deliver alcohol to a distribution point such as a bar or a supermarket. One licence is an import licence. The other is a distribution licence. The transport owner has to have a distribution licence. The last time I checked, couriers like DHL, for example, did not have distribution licences for even sample quantities of alcohol which makes sample distribution difficult.

There are many other issues, such as labelling and Certificates of Conformity. You need to deal with a professional importer. One of our practices is the wine and spirits market. We find importers for foreign suppliers. However, you need to have the financial capacity to sell large volumes or your product should command a large premium. Transport costs, even to Riga, which is in the EU but a common delivery point, can be large for small amounts. The larger Russian importers add appropriate labelling in the Baltic ports before importing into Russia.

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