Online purchases abroad would be unprofitable

Online purchases abroad would be unprofitable

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Customs proposed economic development a phased transition to a VAT and duties on international shipments of goods for personal use

Photo: TASS/AP/Mark Humphrey

The Federal customs service (FTS) proposes to lower the threshold of duty-free import of goods purchased on foreign websites, with 1 million euros to 22 euros for one month. And in the future to opt out of the phrase “goods for personal use” that will allow to levy of a parcel for VAT and charge them fees depending on customs codes. Online sellers consider the threshold at 22 euros is useless, but disagree on VAT.

New proposals of the customs officers said in a letter to the Deputy head of FCS Ruslan Davydov, Deputy Minister of economic development Stanislav Voskresensky under the title “concerning the regulation of importation of goods under cross-border e-Commerce” from September 20 (at the disposal of “Izvestia”). The appeal says that the proposals prepared for the first meeting of the Subcommittee on electronic Commerce, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich. The meeting was to be held on Friday, October 14, but was postponed.

First of all, the FCS proposes to reduce the rate at which goods intended for personal use and purchased in the foreign Internet-shop can be imported into Russia without payment of duty. Now you can import goods up to 1 thousand euros and weighing up to 31 kg per month, FTS also proposes to lower the threshold up to 22 euros a month.

If the value of goods is up to 150 euros, FCS offers to pay a fixed payment in the amount of 10-15 euros. If the purchased goods worth more than 150 euros, have to pay a fixed fee of 10-15 Euro and the customs duties and taxes at a single rate of 30%. Customs officers also propose to unify these rules for all member countries of the Eurasian economic Union (EEU), to avoid the flow of commodity flows to States with more favorable rules of entry.

The FCS explained that “today, the limit on duty-free goods to individuals international mail is one of the highest in the world.” The office added that it FCS a few years ago drew attention to a new economic phenomenon — the rapid growth of Internet Commerce, which “under the guise of goods for personal use into the country in the international mail received commercial party.” Thus, the service tries to impose taxes and duties of entrepreneurs who resell in Russia, purchased in foreign shops.

According to the Association of companies the Internet-trade (AKIT), for the first half of 2016, the volume of the Russian market of Internet trade amounted to 405 billion (+26% compared to 2015). The volume of cross-border trade amounted to 143.1 billion (+37%). In this segment, the number of shipments amounted to 103 million (+102%). At the same time on purchases up to EUR 22 accounted for the bulk of turnover is 64%, to 50 euros, or 21%, to 150 euros — 11%.

Executive Director, National Association of distance selling (NAMO) Mikhail Yatsenko recalls that, under international agreement on the procedure for movement by individuals of goods for personal use, Russia has the right to the national level to adjust all the figures for duty-free Internet trade, in addition to time period. Thus, the FCS proposes to set the rate at which anyone is allowed to import duty-free or order online on a foreign website with delivery to Russia goods to the value of 22 Euro for one month. All other items will be subject to taxes and duties.

In AKIT say that low threshold at 22 euros is easy to get around with the help of undervaluing or labels that the parcel is a gift.

— Some European countries are even lower the threshold to zero, but when a large flow of parcels to check the data impossible, — speak in AKITA and still insist that a more effective way is the VAT — registration of foreign companies. Although now this tool is only used in Australia.

FCS also offers in the framework of the EEC to abolish the concept of “goods for personal use”.

Customs officers believe that “cross-border e-Commerce is essentially a kind of foreign economic activity based on the use of modern information and communication services in the sphere of trade”.

“Goods purchased in the foreign Internet-stores should be considered as imports in the trade turnover. These products should not apply to goods for personal use”, — said in a letter to the customs Department.

That is, the TCF in the future, everyone wants the goods purchased in the online store abroad, to levy VAT and duty depending on the customs code. Usually the fee is no more than 5-15%, like the lawyer of Bureau “Business fairway” Paul Ivchenkov.

The benefits of this change will not only grow the customs administration, but tax collection will not increase, he said.

The source of “Izvestia”, the Ministry noted that overall the Agency against the abolition of the concept of “goods for personal use” but may consider any revision is required.