Criminal liability introduced for failure to declare jewellery and wrist/pocket watches

04.12.2018

Legal Update No. 655

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP advises that Russian Government Resolution No. 12591 amending the list of strategically important goods and resources for the purposes of Russian Criminal Code Article 226.1 (the “List”2 ) took effect on 23 November 2018. The List has been expanded to include:

1. Articles of precious metals such as:

  • Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal, of precious metal whether or not plated or clad with precious metal:

a) of silver, whether or not plated or clad with other precious metal;

b) of other precious metal, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal.

  • Articles of jewellery and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal, of base metal clad with precious metal.

  • Articles of goldsmith’s or silversmith’s wares and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal, of precious metal whether or not plated or clad with precious metal:

a) of silver, whether or not plated or clad with other precious metal;

b) of other precious metal, whether or not plated or clad with precious metal.

  • Articles of goldsmith’s or silversmith’s wares and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal, of base metal clad with precious metal (EAEU CCFT codes 7113 – 7114 20 000 0).

 2. Articles of precious stones and natural pearls such as:

  • Articles of natural or cultured pearls, precious or semi-precious stones (natural, synthetic or reconstructed) (EAEU CCFT codes 7116 10 000 0 and 7116 20).

3. Wristwatches, pocket-watches and other watches, including stopwatches, with case of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (EAEU CCFT code 9101).

4. Watch cases of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (EAEU CCFT code 9111 10 000 0).

5. Watch straps, watch bands and watch bracelets, and parts thereof, of precious metal or of metal clad with precious metal (code 9113 10).

The List now includes goods that individuals may carry across the customs border as personal belongings, which are not subject to mandatory declaration under the effective rules. This raises many questions calling for clarification. Such goods brought across the Russian/EAEU customs border are now to be declared in writing, if one is to avoid criminal liability for smuggling.

Article 226.1, part 1 of the Criminal Code provides that smuggling, i.e., illegal movement of strategically important goods across the Customs Union customs border on a large scale (worth over RUB 1 m), is punishable by imprisonment for three to seven years, with or without a fine upwards of RUB 1 m or the convicted person’s salary or other income for up to five years, with restriction of freedom for up to one year. Illegal movement of goods across the customs border also includes failure to declare them correctly or at all3.

The Federal Customs Service of Russia clarifies on its website that this amount (RUB 1 m) will be calculated as the total of all the listed goods conveyed. So if individuals bring any such goods, each with a value less than RUB 1 m but totalling more than RUB 1 m, across the customs border as personal belongings, they must, by law, declare them. The declarant puts a value on them, guided by historical cost less wear and tear.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (Russia) LLP Customs and International Trade Practice has a successful track record in advising corporate and individual clients on import/export matters. If you would like to know more about declaring strategically important goods, we would be happy to answer any of your questions.
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1 Russian Government Resolution No. 1259 “On Amendments to the List of Strategically Important Goods and Resources for the Purposes of Article 226.1 of the Russian Criminal Code” dated 22 October 2018.
2 Approved by Russian Government Resolution No. 923 dated 13 September 2012.
3 Clause 5, Resolution of Russian Supreme Court Plenum No. 12 “On Judicial Practice on Smuggling Cases” dated 27 April 2017.

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