On Amendments to the Customs Code of the Russian Federation

29.10.2009

Legal Update No. 84.

Goltsblat BLP advises that the following laws have been adopted:

Federal Law No. 231-FZ of 13 October 2009 “On Amending Articles 69 and 119 of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation” and

Federal Law No. 232-FZ of 13 October 2009 “On Amending Articles 138 and 325 of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation”.

Both Federal Laws come into force on 17 November 2009.

As you know, the Government of the Russian Federation was previously granted the right to establish a list of entry points on the state border of the Russian Federation. According to amendments introduced into Articles 69 and 119 of the Customs Code of the Russian Federation (hereinafter - the Russian Customs Code), the Russian Government is also to determine which of the available border entry points are to be used for importation of certain types of goods on to and exportation of these from the customs territory of the Russian Federation.

Please note that the procedure and requirements for establishing, opening, constructing, equipping, operating, reconstructing and closing entry points on the state border, relevant buildings, structures and constructions used for passport, customs and other control on the state border remain unchanged and continue to be determined by the Russian Government by virtue of the Russian Federation Law “On the State Border of the Russian Federation” dated 1 April 1993.

Article 138 of the Russian Customs Code has been substantially modified. According to the revised Article, the term for filing a completed customs declaration shall run from the date on which goods are actually exported from Russia, whereas previously it ran from the date of departure. The date on which goods are actually exported from Russia is deemed to be that when the customs authorities put stamps and entries allowing exportation of the goods on transportation (shipment) or other documents at the point of exportation.

In addition, in response to a reasoned application by the declarant, the customs authorities can extend the term for filing a completed customs declaration; the extended term shall not, however, exceed two months from the day following that on which the last batch of goods is actually exported. Previously, the maximum term was limited to 90 days.

The amendments also allow several completed customs declarations to be filed after the actual exportation of Russian goods, whereas previously only one completed customs declaration could be filed with respect to all goods exported within a given time period.

As before, the declarant itself determines the period for Russian goods exportation from Russia in an interim customs declaration. Such goods may now only be exported within three months, although previously there were no general time restrictions. The day on which a carrier accepts goods for shipment out of the Russian Federation is recognised as the first day of said period.

The provision that, in declaring goods in an interim customs declaration, prohibitions and limitations established by foreign trade laws are applicable to goods as of the day the customs declaration is accepted has been retained. At the same time, export customs duties are applicable from the date on which the goods are actually exported rather than that on which the customs declaration is accepted. If export customs duties payable go up after the declarant adjusts the data or as a result of a higher rate being applicable, the additional export customs duties shall be payable when the completed customs declaration is filed. No default interest accrues in this case. If the customs payments go down, the declarant is entitled to recover the overpaid amount.

The term for exporting Russian goods from the customs territory of Russia has been extended from four to eight months following the date when the interim customs declaration is accepted and, for goods subject to export customs duties, up to six months from said date. Additionally, in response to an application from an interested party, this term may be extended by up to one month (previously - up to four months).

As for the amendments introduced into Article 325 of the Russian Customs Code, these consist in including Article 138 of the Code in the list of exclusions from the general rule regarding the rates applicable to calculation and payment of customs duties and taxes. The rates effective on the date of actual exportation of goods shall thus apply for calculating customs duties and taxes at the time when the interim declaration of the goods is filed.

For additional information, please contact:

Vladimir Tchikine, Partner,
Customs and Foreign Exchange
Goltsblat BLP
E-mail: info@gblplaw.com

Elena Belozerova, Head of Group,
Customs and Foreign Exchange
Goltsblat BLP
E-mail: info@gblplaw.com

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