International shipping companies are canceling consumer package services in Russia, as a new range of customs requirements are likely to raise fees and extend processing times for goods ordered from online stores based abroad.
The changes, ostensibly intended to simplify assessment of customs fees for consumer goods shipped from other countries, require that each shipment be assessed individually rather than in bulk, a statement on UPS’s Russian website said.
“This change has led to a dramatic increase in formal customs entries, resulting in significant delays in delivery of packages to private individuals in Russia,” the statement said. “As such, UPS is currently unable to meet its published time commitments for any dutiable shipments going to Russia intended for private use.”
The new requirements, which Kommersant reported went into effect on January 4, include delivery to the customer’s registration address, a copy of the customer’s passport with registration, a record of the order from the online store, a photograph of the goods ordered, an original record from the bank and a copy of the bank card used to place the order. Use of a different bank card or a delivery address that differs from the customer’s registration address require written explanations to the customs service.
In terms of fees, customers may currently receive packages from abroad duty-free monthly if the packages are worth up to 1,000 euros, or weigh up to 31 kilograms. Under the new rules, if a fee increase is adopted, Kommersant reported, the charges could amount to 30 percent of the value, but no less than 4 euros per kilogram.
Yury Shevchenko, DHL’s vice president for operations in Russia, concurred, telling The Moscow News that if it becomes impossible to provide customers with rapid delivery, the company will not be able to fulfill one of its fundamental goals.
“If we can’t provide express service, it’s better to provide no service than a corrupted service,” Shevchenko said.
He added, however, that DHL will continue to operate its business service, which the new customs requirements do not apply to.
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