ECE postponed consideration of fees on online purchases from abroad

Moscow. November 23. The Council of the Eurasian economic Commission (EEC) has postponed the discussion of new customs duties and taxes on parcels from foreign online stores, said the representative of the Vice Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich, who participated in the meeting of the Council from the Russian side.

According to her, the matter may be considered at the next meeting of the EEC Council.

The representative of the EEC said that the next meeting will be held tentatively on December 2.

Earlier on Monday, the newspaper “Vedomosti” and “Kommersant” reported that the working group of the Council of the EEC has prepared several options for modifying the regulation of cross-border e-Commerce.

According to “Vedomosti”, the threshold value of the parcels for duty-free entry into the EAEU from foreign online stores is planned down to 150 euros from the current 1 thousand euros. For parcels of any value, the EEC wants to introduce a fixed fee of 25 euros.

Members of the ECE working group from Kazakhstan and Belarus on the whole, the draft decision supported the position of Armenia has not yet presented, it follows from the minutes of the meeting of the group seen by the newspaper.

“Kommersant” reported other options for the limitation of duty-free importation. One of them involves a charge of 15 euros for packages valued at 22-150 euros and a weight of 1-10 kg. Goods, which cost more than 150 euros and (or) the total weight exceeds 10 kg, will require a levy of 15 euros plus 30% of the customs value but not less than 4 euros per 1 kg of body weight.

According to another script of which wrote “Kommersant”, the sending cost up to 150 Euro and weighing less than 10 kg will be charged 10 euros. For the remaining parcels the fee will be 10 euros plus 30% of the customs value but not less than 4 euros per 1 kg of body weight.

Now Russians can buy in foreign online stores the goods for the sum to 1 thousand euros and weighing up to 31 kg per month without payment of duties and taxes.

Last year, the Russian Ministry considered options to limit duty-free import of Internet packages. The Ministry of Finance proposed to reduce this threshold to 150 euros, the Ministry of economic development – up to 500 euros. The final decision was not accepted – the President of Russia Vladimir Putin declared that at first should be developed a uniform standard of regulation with all the countries of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU).

Within the EEU’s customs borders there, so Internet parcels from foreign online stores, in case of stricter regulation both in Russia was reoriented on Belarus, Kazakhstan or Armenia, where duty-free would be imported to Russia.

For the first half of 2015, the Russians in foreign online stores have purchased at 65,05 billion rubles, whereas in the domestic – 305 billion, according to Data Insight. Average check in foreign online stores is about 25 euros.

According to East-West Digital News, in 2014, about 15 million Russians at least once made purchases abroad through the Internet. Almost half, according to GfK, shopped in China.

The most popular among Russians foreign online platform in 2014 is AliExpress (part of Alibaba Group Chinese): it was shopping, 59% of customers are foreign shops (in 2013 – 37%). In second place last year was eBay with 51%, was reported in the study of “Yandex.Market” and GfK.