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To Russia, No Love. 5 Tips for Shipments to Russia

After conversations with merchants and tips from our network of global shipping carriers, we are now recommending to our merchants that they think twice before shipping to private individuals in Russia. One of the biggest issues we have seen is that the carrier gets the shipment to Russian customs only to have it stuck…for a long-time.   As anybody who sells online knows, some overseas buyers will say that is the shipper’s problem and will start canceling orders, initiating charge-backs, or causing a large support hassle.

Currently Russian customs authorities have a restriction on dutiable shipments sent to private individuals. What does this mean?   Almost any product subject to tax and duties being sent to a private individual in Russia will be held and inspected by customs. This can take days and even weeks, where they are being looked at with extraordinary scrutiny in an effort to improve the accuracy of accompanying shipping documentation. Why? Foreign country, different laws. Even after this process has taken place, there is still no guarantee that the package is going to be shipped out. In the event that it isn’t shipped out, it will often be returned to sender, forcing the merchant to pay for the return shipping — expensive and not fun.

This situation is so bad that some carriers, like UPS, have “suspended acceptance of dutiable shipments sent to private individuals in Russia until further notice.”

If you decide you would like to go ahead with your shipment to an individual in Russia; we would like you to consider a few options:

1)     Do not ship anything that is automatically dutiable or needs to be declared. Here are a few USPS thoughts on their Russian country “conditions” help page.

2)     Make sure you know the 6 digit HS number (Harmonized Tariff Schedule number) to speed things through customs.

3)     Ensure the retail value is less than $100.00 USD (Standard insurance).

4)     Do not include any prohibited items and it’s best to eliminate any questionable items per the Russian Federation (e.g printed matter may be prohibited, which would require a more detailed inspection).

5)     Send the package via USPS mail, which has simplified forms (but no tracking).

We don’t have a guaranteed solution for ensuring prompt accurate shipping to private individuals in Russia.

If you sell on eBay and value your eBay ratings, really think twice. Same goes for any public marketplace allowing Russian buyers and has feedback forms.

And remember, even with all this it could get stuck in customs, sent back or both. You and the buyer will be waiting for two weeks while the shipment clears customs, not having access to information and potentially in a losing situation. A good thought is to modify your returns policy and make explicit to Russian buyers that they take the risk of shipping. Get in in writing if you take credit cards (another concern).

A great way to prevent your orders from shipping out to Russia without your approval or review, is to first look into your shopping cart and change your settings to hold all international orders for review. If you are a Shipwire user, there is a setting in shipping preferences to hold international orders.

The good news we found is that Russian customs says you can still send commercial shipments addressed to businesses. Take that with a grain of salt and ship at your own risk.

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Comments for blog

  1. Does anyone know if it’s safe to order FROM a Russian high end fashion website? Will I get my stuff? Any issues with receiving goods?


  2. As an experienced US-seller on eBay I have noticed lately that Chinese and Russian bidders have PayPal verified addresses in HOTEL ROOMS. The way the Chinese and Russian bidders operate is that they claim the item didn’t arrive and then ask for a refund from PayPal that is immediately charged to your PP account and you loose the item you sold and the money. Remember that shipping by USPS to either China or Russia has a delivery confirmation method with signature. My advise: Do not sell anything to one of this countries.


  3. So, while it’s critically necessary for ensuring seller protection on high value items, the additional $14 on top of the postage cost for the International Registered service is irrational for sellers making sales of lesser value (the only option if you want to keep track of it in Russia).

    For example, I have had requests to ship to Russia from buyers interested in eBay auctions that ended at less than $5. If those buyers are willing to pay more than $20+ to ship a $5 item, either they got a super sweet deal, or they are smoking crack.

    I have had many Russian bidders win multiple listings before noting the cost to ship there. These buyers never pay for these listings; likely they begin checkout, and simply don’t complete when they get the total. I have had countless Unpaid Item issues with these Russian buyers and not one has ever paid for the listing they won. This isn’t fair to serious bidders who read the terms they are agreeing to, only to be outbid by the more careless Russian bidders, and it is a waste of my time and listing fees as a Seller.


  4. Masha inaccurately disputed the following claims: “”This article is correct and is a pattern of scamming…

    Go to USPS and see that all items of 101 USD to 1000 USD are subject to customs tax of 30%”.

    Masha asks: “Why should I go to USPS to check MY COUNTRY regulations, which is published here in Russian…..”

    Um. What? The post she’s replying to NEVER suggested ANY buyer should go anywhere to check anything. Let alone that Masha should go to USPS to check US customs regulations in, um, Russia!?!?! This suggestion is obviously given to SELLERS, not buyers. Why? Because as a BUYER, Masha is not responsible for paying US customs tax. Rather, SELLERS must pay this customs tax, before shipping. Why would a seller check RUSSIA’s customs tax regulations when the customs tax is regulated and owed to the US? Why would a Buyer check customs tax, anyway? They aren’t SENDING, they’re receiving. O.o

    I’m not sure if Masha’s poor comprehension of the post she replied to is solely a language barrier issue? Her perspective as Buyer, may also be contributing to her inability to comprehend the issue from the perspective of Sellers. This seems to characterize pretty much every “LIES!” comment – they are overwhelmingly Russian Buyers who, in most cases, have NEVER shipped something TO Russia from the US, so they can’t possibly speak to the shipping process. It’s a pain in the ass for US Sellers. Of course, Russian buyers don’t care. All they are interested in is cheaper goods (as one Russian buyer attests). Twenty or so Russians irrelevantly insisting “I ordered from US and received my package big fat liar shipwire waaa” does not change the fact that millions of impatient Russian buyers are harassing US Sellers and often forcing Sellers into unjustified refunds because they didn’t understand the delays once the package makes it to their country. Wonder how many impatient refunded Russian returned the item, in good faith, once it finally arrived?

    Next, Masha wonders:
    “I dont understand what is “They write they havenot received the parcel” How is this possible if you ship via trackable USPS? You’ll by tracking if the parcel is received or not.”

    USPS Tracking for international shipments is ONLY available for the countries listed below. Russia is not on EITHER of those lists. Since it is an additional $13.95 to add International Registered service with delivery confirmation, very many “item not received” issues are not only “possible” but highly likely. For many sellers, adding another $14 to postage costs simply to know it got there, is frivolous, and sometimes, just plain ridiculous.

    USPS.gov 2014:

    Availability of Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International

    Currently, Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International service is available to the following destination countries:

    Australia
    Belgium
    Brazil
    Canada
    Croatia
    Denmark
    France
    Germany
    Great Britain
    Israel
    Netherlands
    New Zealand
    Spain
    Switzerland

    As of January 26, 2014, the service is also available to the following countries:

    Estonia
    Finland
    Gibraltar
    Hungary
    Italy
    Latvia
    Lithuania
    Luxembourg
    Malaysia
    Malta
    Portugal
    Singapore


  5. Sending mobile phones to Russia of any kind is illegal as per customs rules. So thats why they just take the phones and send you back an empty box.


  6. hi everyone!
    shoes were shipped to me yesterday from usa to russia through USPS with a tracking number. but when i click on the tracking number its telling me my stuff has been shipped to canada 12-09-2012 lol
    pls do any of you got an any idea of this ish???
    THANKS!!!


  7. Somebody else has already mentioned this but there is a site in which you can track your package in Russia itself. The site is http://www.russianpost.ru/ and you may need a translator like Google Translate to be able to read it in English (or whatever language you want.)

    After reading all these posts, my son and I were concerned about a 4 ounce package containing a $300 gold thimble we sent to Puschkin, St. Petersburg. We sent this package around 15 day ago and were able to track as received in the sorting facility in St. Petersburg. This package was sent first class registered mail.


  8. I send a parcel to Russia every week for the last 2 years.(EBAY sales)
    During this time I have not lost a single parcel. Anyway my buyers did not tell me nothing about.
    But there were significant delays during the New Year holidays, and there were delays and returns case related with the postal service in Russia. From my experience: 1-Put with USPS label sticker with
    address & tell.# in Russian language (I do the same for packages to CHINA ) 2 Send expensive goods using
    USPS priority mail with insurance. Victor


  9. To Giancarlo Ferrer
    The IPhone is most likely stuck at the customs, I don’t think that the buyer is cheating. Custom’s lobby in Russia is very strong. They are acting this way in order to make Russians buy IPhones and other stuff within the chain of authorized resellers. Does the shipment have a tracking number?
    Anna


  10. Dear Mark,

    Do not send antique swords by mail to Russia! They can get lost eventually! If you send them by Fedex (UPS, whatever), they will be stuck at the customs. The only way to solve this problem is to go to Russia in person and have the swords in your private baggage. And you shall have some paperwork (receipts with value) for them, just in case.
    My very best,
    Anna


  11. I don’t know how the Russian postal chain functions at the moment, I can’t even get books from the States (sent by friend, no Amazon), Sweden (a friend, the package returned to the mailer, and I didn’t get any postal notification). Postal cards come from abroad in 2-3 months. Probably, that was just unlucky, but I heard many other complaints, and I don’t buy it as an accident.


  12. In my experience USPS priority mail (1st class is not available for packages over 4 lbs) is faster than EMS, also known as Priority Express at US post offices.

    EMS does have an advantage – local EMS office in Russia calls the recepient once the package arrives. In case with the regular mail – the Russian Post fills out a little slip which they deliver to the address to notify the recepient, and this may take up to a week.

    EMS has a delay between export and import, meaning that once your tracking number shows the package left US, it may take up to a month before it will show that it had been imported into Russia. Apparently there is backlog, and EMS just doesn’t scan the incoming packages, to avoid being in violation of the more tight “express” timeframes.

    The only way I was able to speed up EMS packages is by filing an inquiry with USPS via their customer service number. But it’s a pain in the neck, because they take all the information, not just the tracking number, and spelling those russian addresses just adds insult to the injury.

    I did get quotes from FedEx, UPS, and DHL, and they all are twice as expensive, and customs forms are way too complicated for me to handle.

    So, I’ve read somewhere online, and I have to agree, that there is effectively no “express” options for shipping to Russia. EMS travels faster wthin the country, but it has longer delays at the “gate” between the moment the package arrives to the country and the moment it is processed by customs.

    I’ll give you an example. Priority mail shipment took 15 days., EMS shipment of similar weight and dimensions took 21 days. Which is still not bad, but frustrating because you pay more money to be worse off.

    Customs never gave me any problems, even though I have to ship some expensive items, just don’t declare them as worth more than, say, $500, or better yet $150. The official limit as far as I know is no more than 1000 Euro worth of packages per person per month, everything above that is dutiable.

    I’ve read about people trying to sue EMS-Russia for breach of contract due to delays, but it’s too much legalese for me to handle. Unless the sueing process is steamlined, the delays won’t stop, my opinon. So don’t get your hopes up, and this is why I recommend USPS priority mail over Priority Express (EMS).

    Now, there is a common russian saying “Raz na raz ne prihoditsya”, which means something along the lines “You never know”. I believe it accurately descirbes the Russian postal system. It may take 10 days, or it may take 30, but it’ll get there, no further action required. With EMS you have to file an inquiry.


  13. O have an order that was placed on eBay for a 50.00 item . the order was placed by a Russian individual and the shipping is 47.00. The person created the eBay account the very day they used the buy it now and has made no other bids on any other items and has zero feedback. the shipping method chosen is USPS and the payment has been made with pay pal.

    I feel this purchase is fishy. I hate to think the worst of people but i really feel like I am fixing to get scammed. I was wondering what the percentage rate for instances of these circumstances to be a successful transaction. Just from the pit of my gut I am thinking this is like 99% most likely not going to be a good transaction.


  14. Hi,

    I am confused a bit about Russian customs duty and taxes. I have been through a lot of websites and each one of them has a different story. I wish to send a Kindle e-reader as a gift to my friend in Moscow. The total value of the package is 128.82$ after taxes. Now, the USPS website says that any shipment above 100$ is dutiable while myUS.com says the limit is 150$ while here people are saying 1000 euros. Does anyone have experience sending a package close to the value that I wish to send. If so, were you imposed any customs duties. Is USPS the preferred method to ship or should I send it through the package forwarding services. In case, the package is stuck in customs, who pays for it. If USPS does not take care of it, does the recipient have to go to the customs office in person to clear it.

    Any replies would be helpful.


  15. I need to send my friend who lives in Moscow some american food. i.e. mac and cheese, oreos, pop tarts small things like that.

    what is the best way to go about this?? thanks


  16. How do I find out if customs got an item I shipped 9/10/13 and here it is 10/18/13 and they still haven’t received it in Russia? I’m an eBay seller and didn’t know it was an issue to ship to Russia from US. I declared the value at $400. HELP! I BASICALLY AM LOSING MY IPHONE AND THE $400 TO SEND BACK TO THE BUYER. I am freaking out as a single mom and cannot afford thus mistake. I sell regularly buy often and first issue I’ve had before. USPS gave me a “tracking number” but doesn’t work past the US.


  17. Need ship from China to Russia, surely China Freight can help you solve the shipping issues.


  18. Do not use FedEx to ship items to Russia, I just sent a Large FedEx box for $228.00 and they just phoned and said “Russian” customs deny it and it will be returned. It was sent as a gift, ipad mini, backback, and 2 greeting cards, and ipad leather case, and 3 small plush toys for protection of the ipad. I read they are allowed up to 1000 Euro, the shipment value in Canada was only $518 and that is only around 325 Euro. 1/3 the regulated allowed amount. So then why FedEx is telling me returned because it is over 200 Euro!!!!!!!! Why they did not tell me this at the Airport FedEx Office, are there staff stupid???? It is pathetic to say the least, you are powerless and now I wait for refund that they “claim” she put in for it. But I may get it or not???? WTF! Sure take my money, the box goes on a vacation traveling around the globe, when FedEx “knows” the rules and regulations and should have been responsible to inform the customer!!!! I even filled out electronic shipping and custom forms on “their” website which WARNED me I may need fill out some form, which is only required if you ship more then $2500!!!, and the amount of $518 they already knew, as it has been entered already. So they tell you what you do not need, but lack the ability and brains to inform the shipper of some mystery 200 EURO limit??? when Russian law says they can get up to 1000 EURO! What can you expect from a company that cannot even take the time to update there website, when I open the account, it says on the bottom of the webpage they will charge $10 to your credit card to verify it. On the phone with them they said no, that is wrong, its only $1, today the girl said it was $5, hahahaha PATHETIC service!! The employees and the web master do not even know what to tell the customers, how the HELL the customer is to know the real truth on ANYTHING with respect to FedEx and its policies.
    How can you even THINK about shipping anything if you have no clue it will get to the destination!! Naturally they blame Russian customs, but if there allowed 1000 EURO and my parcel is only 325ish, then FedEx broker needs to work with the Russian customs and ask why it is being denied. Saying its over 200 EURO is insane. That 200 Euro is for low rate shipments for documents, etc and you do NO require customs forms. Mine is medium over 200 EURO value but less then 1000, and requires customs forms with the Harmonization codes which they have, I took 2 hours to get them! So to deny the shipment based on it being over 200 EURO, is no VALID reason or excuse. DAMN right it’s over 200 EURO with a “declared” value of $518. The FedEx employee BLIND? I am the FIRST Canadian to send a shipment GREATER then 200 EURO, and they did not know? WASTE OF TIME dealing with idiots that know nothing. I even wanted to pay cash, and he said no no, it will be billed to your account. I said they told me I do not have 30 days, as its personal account. He kept argueing with me, then someone older came over and told him to scan the bar code and enter an “exception” and state it was paid via CASH, which is what they told me over the phone I could do, hence I went to the damn bank machine to get the cash. They sure need to get there shit together at FedEx, its one thing after the other, and my FIRST time sending a package, and probably the LAST! One women said the employee probably did not know all the cities in Russia or something like that, but I am smarter and said, I can accept that, but you use COMPUTERS and that information was entered into one, and it should KNOW to FLAG and warn the customer that there is a 200 EURO limit and why the HELL are you trying to ship 325 EURO, it is that simple. It is NOT the customers job to run FedEx and for ME to know everything. I have a damn box to ship with a stupid ipad mini, its not rocket science people at FedEx. or is it? All I need to do is shove it in the damn box, and tell you where its going, pay you your massive huge shipping fee for 3 days of $230ish, which after they said the delivery date was 10 days away, NOT 3!. So why I pay for 3 days service when there was lower price option that should take 5-6 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but the EMPLOYEE at fedex AIRPORT could not get a deliver time for either option. the 3 day or the 5-6 days to tell me anything that I needed to know before sending the damn parcel………WOW!!!!!!!! great job fedex!!! So yes, it is most DIFFICULT to get a package of crap into RUSSIA, as I have JUST learned and must wait until Monday to here more bullshit excuses from another FedEx employee, joy joy joy…and how long to get my box back? 1 month, 2 months, or 3, more beat me over the head bullshit to come. And I like to point out just how STUPID the Russian government is at not knowing HOW to make MONEY, they just tossed $200 in duties and taxes that I agreed to pay, SHIPPER billed, FREE friggin money for Russia, there poor citizen did not fork out one penny for anything, such a nice way to strengthen your economy you stupid idiots, and nothing like shitting on a 16yr girl in college that needed that ipad!! Russian should be ASHAMED of itself, you treat your people like common criminals! Most Russians I talk to are clueless to this fact simply because they do not know what it is like to live in another country. I can move from Calgary to Toronto without asking anyone. In Russia they need to see 6 doctors just to ask for PERMISSION to move to Moscow, I know as she told me so!!!
    Super Power in Super Control of its people! insane!
    and you have Customs GODS denying shipments and not even following your own LAWS and REGULATIONS, this package was under 1000 EURP and should be going to that 16yr girl to HELP her with her college!!!! So my advice would be to send them money via Western Union of $1000 max per month allowed. There will be no customs idiot waiting at the bank to deny your money sent. Also you save on HUGE shipping cost and HASSLES. Not to mention theft!
    Good Luck….Corey


  19. Never mind. I should have checked the USPS site first. For shipping laptops with lithium batteries, the following applies:
    http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immc1_013.htm

    135.64 Secondary Lithium-ion (Rechargeable) Cells and Batteries

    Small consumer-type lithium-ion cells and batteries like those used to power cell phones and laptop computers are mailable in a single shipment with the following restrictions:

    The batteries must be installed in the equipment being shipped.
    Each shipment may contain a maximum of only four lithium-ion cells or two lithium-ion batteries.
    The lithium content must not exceed 20 Watt-hour rating (Wh) per cell.
    The total aggregate lithium content must not exceed 100 Wh per battery.
    Each battery must bear the Wh marking on the battery to determine if it is within the limits defined in 135.64c and 135.64d.
    The batteries installed in the equipment must be protected from damage and short circuit.
    The equipment must be equipped with an effective means of preventing it from being turned on or activated.
    The equipment must be contained in a strong sealed package and cushioned to prevent movement or damage.


  20. I just read that the USPS introduced a ban on devices containing lithium batteries last year. I was hoping to send a laptop from the U.S. to a friend in Moscow, and sure enough, it contains a lithium polymer battery. Does anyone have any ‘recent’ experience with this (ie within the last few months)?


  21. Hi,

    I am an antiques dealer who is sending some antique swords over 100 years old to Russia.
    I have been told that there is a procedure that paper work needs to be filled with the ministry of culture to get permission.
    I would very much appreciate any assistance with this.

    Regards


  22. I want to find out why every item I ship to Russia gets returned as an empty box? I am a Cell phone supplier here in the US and it never fails I take the box to my local post office they weigh the box fill out all the customs paper work, I keep tracking it the whole way then it gets stopped in customs for ever then I get the box back with a letter saying they received the package with a different weight and they refused so I get an empty box back?? How is that?


  23. I am planning to send few garments to my friend in Russia from India so that she can sell them at her small store, but I have become skeptical after reading above post and comments.
    Neither she nor I represents a business and would not prefer to go through the hassle of registering for one, what can be the safest way to make the shipment?


  24. * sorry, my iPhone’s autocorrector was wrong in the 2nd line))) you should spell “won’t” instead of “want”)))


  25. Guys, choose registered USPS Priority or Express Mail and you want have any problems. For those of you who wants to learn more about Russian Post legislation you can find it here:
    http://www.russianpost.ru/rp/servise/en/home/postuslug/internationalmail

    The only problem with shipping to Russia is long delivery times. That hopefully will be solved in nearest future.

    Take care.


  26. My question is based on a parcel measuring 20 x 20 x 20cm x 2,5kg. It is a gift for a lady containing a number of items. One of the items being a 100ml bottle of perfume.

    Phis is where the problem arises in that I have been advised that this is on the prohibited list of items. Is this true & is there another way of legally sending perfume into Russia?


  27. I think it’s better not to provide social security amount.Do they called you ans ID?


  28. Wish I read this before. I have sent many packages with USPS to Russia. Priority and Express always make it, even if it takes 3-5 weeks. First class mail I have had about 3 lost out of 30. But it is possible they received it.

    I started using DHL express and fawking wow.. Package gets returned to me right away and DHL representative says packages can only be sent to commercial, not residents. “Strict Russian law” she says. So Im screwed with a $40 loss at DHL shipping cost. I CHOSE THE OPTION THAT IT WAS TO A RESIDENTIAL ADDRESS THEY SHOULD HAVE SOME KINDA NOTE OR SOMETHING XD


  29. I see quite a number of comments back and forth. I have found Russian Post very reliable shipping from the USA via USPS. Yes, there are sometimes frustrating delays, just like almost any country in the world, including mine (US)…

    It’s true, Russian Customs has undergone some evolutions/changes in the last couple years, almost ALL for the better. Reliable shipping with honest customs statements to legitimate addresses is very reliable.

    Someone mentioned 1 month +/- 2 weeks… that’s my experience too.

    Trust – the Russians are great consumers and lovely people.


  30. I have a question for anyone familiar with Russian Post offices. I sent a package and it arrived at the post office on the 24th. It still says processing and the customer has not received her item. How long will it process for? When will it be delivered?


  31. I am a Chinese seller. In April and May I posted two parcels to Russia by EMS, but until now my customers still haven’t got them. There is no further tracking information since the parcels left China.
    I applied a search in post office, however, China Post replied that they can’t track the parcel either due to Russia hasn’t register the parcels in their post system. I have sent 15 EMS worldwide from April to June, now there are 2 are potentially in a losing situation and both of them are sent to Russia.
    As I know, the lost parcel rate of china EMS is less than 1%, how can I get 2/15 parcel lost? Am I so unlucky? The only explanation I can think of is the parcels are still sitting in Russia customs or airport waiting for a clearance, and no information will be updated during this time.
    Both my Russia customers and I are used to a shipping time of 2-3 months if the parcel post by post air mail. But I never expect EMS can be so slow also. I have to say that it is really risky to ship to Russia, the shipping speed of all kinds of way to Russia seems unstable. I also got some EMS to Russia just took 1week, but it can also up to 90 days if you are unlucky. And the customers will definitely open a dispute and you will end lose all your money.
    Think twice before shipping to Russia!


  32. We are a manufacture that sent computer product to company in Russia via UPS Worldwide Express. All documents were supplied in Russian per instructions. Now UPS and Customs is asking for Import License. Is this a necessary document? How much does this cost and is there another way to get this released from customs?


  33. Hi,

    I sent a parcel to my friend couple of days back. The customs has held the parcel and says it’s worth £1800 but it is just £500 worth. Any help with this ? My friend has not received anything yet. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks
    A


  34. It’s simple folks, ship your Russian packages using USPS First Class “Registered Mail”, and you will have no problem. The package could take awhile, but the longest mine have ever taken is 5 weeks & 2 days. Most shipments I send to Russia make it in less than 20 days.
    I’ve sent around 2000 shipments to Russia in the past 5 years, and not one of them have been lost. If you ship with Registered Mail, you are safe. You can also track your shipment through russiapost.ru using your registered tracking number which usually begins with two letters like “RE”, or something similar. Once you register the package, this generally disregards the first tracking number, however I keep up with both numbers just in case I need them.
    General cost is around $12 for the first class label, then another $12 or so to have it registered. Which is somewhat expensive to some people, but in my book it’s worth every penny.


  35. HELP!!!
    My fiancee broke up with me one week ago, and she gave my friend (Slava) the ring back. He agreed to ship it to me, but just found out that FedEx, UPS and DHL will not ship ANY jewelery?!?? Russian post will take 1 month and cost $500…
    The ring is about $1700, but could easily be valued at the 3000 ruble max limit.
    Is my only option to use a air courier? (Find a friend who is traveling soon)
    The end of my 60 days to return it to Kay jewelers is May 27th.
    PLEASE HELP! :(


  36. And yes, I am aware that I misspelled their:)


  37. I am an ebay seller, I have 739 feedback. I’ve only ever had three people never receive there items all of them from Russia. Not to say all of the items I’ve sent to Russia don’t get there but something is up. I would recommend not selling to Russia until they figure it out. And not to be mean but it is Russian post/customs, 100%. Don’t even take the chance. Russian buyers might say its not a problem but when they don’t receive there item they will, trust me.


  38. Hi! I am asked to send an electrical guitar weighted 25 pounds and worth of $2,700 to Moscow from USA. Is it a bad idea? What should I do to minimize hassles with Russian customs?
    Appreciate suggestions!!!


  39. I feel very sorry for a friend of Russia, cause he bought an iphone from me, I shipped this one since December 18, 2012 and he hasn’t received yet, he has been waiting now almost 3 months, until today we don’t know what happened to the shipment.
    thanks


  40. Agree with 6. Nikita on this: yes USPS Priority Mail and Express Mail is extremely reliable to Russia, the problem is, Priority Mail with tracking (small flat-rate does not have real tracking) starts at close to $40 for a 1-lb package, Express Mail starts at close to $50, not “a few bucks more than First Class” which is not trackable and is of high-risk (more loss claim from Russia for this shipping method that does not require signature either). So for low-value items, ship First Class and take the risk, for high value items, no no no.


  41. I attempted to ship a Cell Phone to a friend in Russia and both UPS and DHL said they have temporarily suspended dutiable shipments from an individual to an individual. Only a business can ship to a business. Not sure I trust the Post Office.


  42. By the way – For those who ship over the Christmas/Festive period, please remember that as of New Years eve, Russia closes down for 8-10days whilst they have their annual festive holidays… Christmas Day in Russia is the 7th of January!


  43. All, I’m orginally from the UK, however, for the lat 3years, I’ve been living in Samara, Russia as part of my work contract.

    Having read the majority of the comments above, and having shipped many items from the UK, I couldn’t agree more with those comments regarding theft of valuable items once the parcels reach the Russian Federation.

    Shipping to residential address (statistically) is a sure way for the item to get lost/stolen and you’ll be responsible for any additional expenses/refunds.

    I’m in the process of shipping 17items from the UK (as 1 package) via DHL from a UK corporate address to a corporate address here in Russia, this is the safest method of shipping. For those that can’t ship to a corporate address in Russia, DON’T DO IT!!! It’s not worth your time and money when it all goes pear shaped!


  44. Major problems with parcels going to Russia. I am posting from Australia and have quite a few customers and many parcels that were sent 6-7 weeks ago have not been delivered and after being in Russia for 5-6 weeks. These are not high value parcels. I’m told that they haven’t been registered in the Russian postal system yet. I will not sell to Russian customers anymore as it’s not worth the trouble to the customers or me.


  45. Moscow Customs steals 90% of the parcels, the remaining parcels stealing postal worker. I have read many forums. All the victims believe that the customs steals, because after the customs, make “changes” as the weight, as well as by inclusion. I know, never exceeding 1000 Euro monthly.


  46. Hi we manufacture a mechanical product here in Sydney Australia & sell online through our website. We have recently sent 2 packages to customers in Russia, both packages were returned without an explanation. We used TOLL Express as our freight company. We managed to get one of the packages to the customer by shipping it to a friend of his in the USA who was travelling back to Moscow for Christmas!!
    Can anybody suggest how I might successfully deliver the second package value $645 AUD ??


  47. allie-
    someone probably gave you the wrong tracking number


  48. I don´t know if anyone here can help me. I live in Spain and was sent a package via USPS from Miami to Spain on Dec. 12. I have tracked it and to my surprise it has arrived in Customs in MOSCOW!!! This was on Dec. 25. I have tracked it and what I get is : “Your item is being processed by customs in Russia at 1:58 pm on December 25, 2012.” It is now December 30 and I´m worried!!!! Can anyone help??


  49. I recently sent an USPS priority package to Russia on the 18th of November. I packed some clothes and shoes in the box, nothing electronic like an Iphone. I believe someone stole my package. I submitted a claim this week. Do anyone know how long does a priority package takes to reach Moscow?


  50. It is also not recommend using USPS Express Mail when you’re sending to Russia. It insured for you but it is not convenient for the Russian consumer since these rates are serviced by EMS and they are adapted to corporate clients but not to individuals.


  51. 2 Melitza.
    Most likely you shipped by cheapest USPS service. This is “USPS-First Class”, this option provides tracking only inside US and have tracking number with the letter L for example LC…US or LK…US. Russian Post definitely has lower quality control for such USPS service. I do not recommend to use this service for expensive items.

    “USPS – Priority” is the best solution.
    1st they are insured by USPS up to 400usd.
    2nd Russian Post work much better with delivery confirmation. I am 105star russian ebayer and never had any problems with “Priority”, highly recommend it wen you send item in Russia

    Regards,
    Andy.


  52. To NOSHTAR:
    Hi, I need to send an iPhone 4S to Russia as a gift for my friend so there’s no issue with recipient. Ups, dhl and FedEx don’t accept personal shipments anymore so USPS is the only option. When you (or someone else with similar experience) was sending your shipment what did you write in customs form? Declared amount, type of item etc? Also, did you request insurance and for how much? Thanks!


  53. Shipping to Russia is a nightmare. If you are an overseas business shipping to Russia the answer as how to ship is DON’T DO IT. We sent several items to Russia some of them made it through in about 3 weeks, other 2 months and others never at all. They were returned to us without explanation, after about 5 weeks. We have sent our items through China post. Often on items we have tracked they have disappeared into customs for 3 weeks, then another 2 weeks to deliver total of about 6 weeks.

    Please don’t take this as bad mouthing all Russians but the bureaucracy is one of the worst on the planet, and makes things expensive and slow.

    It may take 3 weeks, 6 weeks 2 months, be returned and in about 15% of cases lost all together. Note the items lost all together seem to be the more valuable ones.


  54. Great to hear, Noshtar


  55. dimitri,

    my item arrived at it’s destination with no problem. just fyi


  56. Hello ALL, I have a big problem since I sent a pkg. to Russia about a mth ago. I sold an item on Ebay and now the person I sold it to wants a refund because they say they never received it. Do I give it more time and should I let paypal handle it and investigate? This is my first time shipping there and my last! I have been checking the russian post website everyday but still nothing. I sent it the cheapest way through usps and it only will tell me that it did leave my local area. I would appreciate any help. THANKS : )


  57. This article is correct and is a pattern of scamming. They talk you into shipping, and putting 300 dollars insurance. Go to USPS and see that all items of 101 USD to 1000 USD are subject to customs tax of 30%. They claim they don’t get their item, they file the insurance, then they do a payment reversal on their credit card. Seller loses the payment, the insurace, and likely the buyer will get the item. It’s a real mess.


  58. i wanted to order a $300 pearl necklace to be shipped in russia & guess what…all the major site rejected it saying that they have BIG difficulty in clearing customs in russia….huge dissapointment for me :(


  59. noshtar, you should be fine as long as you take out insurance and it’s registered. Let us know if everything works out!


  60. My question is about the “prohibited items”. People seem to have indicated that trying to send items such as smartphones (iPhones, Android phones, etc.) is impossible.

    I want to send my friend a gift of a smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3) from the USA to Russia.

    Based on the above advice, I am going to use USPS, pay for registered mail, a tracking number, and insure it for $800 US Dollars (which is less than 1000 Euros, which is the current limit).

    My question is this: when I go to the post office, should I say that I am sending a phone? Or should I say that I am sending something else, like clothing, or a book, or some other item that is less “tempting” to steal? Keep in mind that my recipient is my friend and I am not worried about being scammed by the recipient. I just want to make sure that somewhere along the way the smartphone doesn’t get “lost”.

    Thanks for your input.


  61. Hi there,

    Agree, the horror stories about shipping to Russia from USA are grossly exaggerated. Of course, dealing with Russian customs can be frustrating sometimes, but most parcels and packages shipped via USPS go through without any problems. My friends in Russia and Ukraine use intermediary companies which allow buying from the Internet stores in the USA and use their US address and then they would forward the order to the friends’ address in Russia and Ukraine. One of such companies, Global Orders USA, located in California and their commissions are fairly low. At least those guys know how to declare and ship the packages so they will go through the Russian customs without a problem.


  62. I sent a phone to Russia usps priority and registered. The package took over 30 days to get there the guy filed a claim with ebay and paypal and I had to refund his money. Well atleast he was honest and said he finaly received the phone. I don’t have my money back yet but im hopeful.


  63. The guy is right and I have to add that the only problems that I had by selling on ebay is with and only Russian people and customs


  64. Hi, I’m an American living in Siberia. I regularly receive packages via the USPS and British Royal Mail. It generally takes a package about 3 weeks to arrive. I’ve never had a package NOT arrive. Packages clear customs in a couple of days. That’s my personal experience.


  65. I want to insure a package from Los angeles to a private party in Kazakhstan and cant find an insurer who will cover it for $ 3700.00 us. Im desperate Who HAS A QUICK ANSWER for me PLEASE


  66. I do not know where everyone gets an idea as to how Russian customs work. Does anyone actually know anything about it? I doubt it, because none one of you works for them. I have been mailing parcels to Russia for the last 20 years via Express mail so I can track my packages. I do not mind spending extra money but I like to be able to watch my package get safe to the destination. However my last experience with parcels is horrifying, there fore I will never send another package to Russia. My first incident was last year when my package weighed 25 pounds when I mailed it and was only 11 pounds when it got there. Whoever helped themselves were not stupid. Most of the beautiful things were missing. And worst of all I was never able to get a refund from anyone therefore no one was held responsible for stealing. When US Postal Service contacted Russian customs they got a letter from them stating that there were no incidents with my package. Who can be sure exactly where and when things went wrong? If anything in the parcel was subject to duty why my family was never given that option? Second incident was that the parcel actually never got there. I am not sure who I should complain to? By the time I realized that my parcel was lost post office could not help me because I was told that after 3 months they do not track packages anymore. So, good bye Charlie! And when my 3rd parcel did not show up anywhere after 15 days I started investigation. The answer from Russia was they never received it. How is that possible? I am still in the process of getting refund. I am so upset but no one can help me. I am sorry that this will prevent some people from sending parcels but this is my story 3 parcels in one year period. Coincidence? I think not.


  67. Oh well we shipped an order to a private individual in Moscow, value of the package over $300 The package was held in UK and returned to us. The message was that “exceeds service limits-over sized” We used a small Fedex box for the shipment.


  68. Hi everybody
    is any agent in Rusia fr handle my shipment container/lcl cargo fm Jakarta – Indonesia…
    thanknrgds
    zoeljkt


  69. Its totaly wrong info in this article

    I used ebay USPS international for ages up to 1300usd at once.
    Never had any problems receiving it in time. it almost never exceeds 2 weeks to Moscow.

    In my opinion main complains from US sender are the reason of braking the law during shipment applying.
    1 forbidden items
    2 sending as a gift(hiding real value)

    so my advice be patient and follow the rules
    also it’s really easy track your items
    http://www.russianpost.ru/rp/servise/en/home/postuslug/trackingpo


  70. Anyone here ever had any experience sending anything to Russia from Australia? I sent a parcel to a place few hours from St Petersburg and it took 3 months for it to arrive .. all the products inside are in good condition (even the chocolate) lol – my mistake may have been because i wrote the address totally in Russian (except for the country, i wrote it in English letters ie. RUSSIA) so maybe thats the reason why it took so long. I just sent another parcel last week and this time its to Moscow, I also made it registered and i wrote the address both in english and in RUssian… Hopefully it will get there withn 2 weeks from the time i sent it.


  71. HI,

    I would like to send a cellphone through to Samara in russia, but after reading all of the above comments am rather sceptical..
    ANy advise on sending a cellphone to SAMARA, or does anyone know of a store in SAMARA that i could purchase one online and just have my friend pick it up?


  72. Hopefully it will be helpful info for some and I will publish more once complete my research: For my recent shipment to Russia I had only US Customs Declaration number for tracking purposes and as some of you mentioned it already, it only shows shipment progress within the US territory but nothing when it is already in Russia. I was advised by eBay and PayPal t to use the http://www.russianpost.ru for tracking but the LC number showed nothing. What I found out is that once the shipment reaches Russian soil, Russian Customs Service or Russian Postal assigns the new “RA” tracking number that CAN be used for tracking progress of the shipment within Russia. At this time I don’t know how this number is generated or how it can be retrieved. Here is my proof: http://www.USPS.com (LC324737337US) shows last entry as departure from LA on 01/02/2012 and now the http://www.russianpost.ru by using (RA226392432RU) shows that the item arrived in Russia on 01/30/2012 and was finally delivered on 02/07/2012. Most of the entries on the website are in Russian but for the English speaking community can do a quick Google translation. The point is that it can be tracked but of course the question is how to get the number especially when the US and Russian systems don’t talk with each other. I got it from the recipient once the package was delivered. I would imagine that either Russian Customs or Postal should have a way to provide the number, I don’t know how though. My next step would be to call them and find out, if someone is eager to do it right away here are the numbers: Federal Customs hot line -8(495) 449-7235; Interantion Postal -8(499) 782-2316.


  73. Having the same problem. Shipped an iPhone 4 to Russia on 11/30/11 and the buyer says he still hasn’t received it. Am I being scammed? Paypal gave him his refund since my Customs Declaration # is no good and I don’t know how to track the package in Russia. Paypal is charging me $800 which is what I sold the phone for. So basically, there’s no way of seeing if the buyer received it, he got his money back plus for all I know he could already have the phone. WHAT CAN I DO?


  74. Despite I read so many unfortunate experience feedbacks on ebay forum and subsidiary websites, I still had my courage to sell my unused iphone worldwide. Then I really regret!!!!! I lost my iphone and another same amount of money to refund the buyers, even insurance claim no help and will take 2-3 month because the local carrier in Russia does not respond back to USPS and you know how it’s difficult to get USPS to start the investigation or response too. I will not recommend of selling iphone to Russia at all!


  75. Presently I am waiting for a resolution with Paypal for an item I sold to an Ebay buyer from St Petersburg. 192238 Russia. I sent the item December 12 using the USPS Small Flat Rate Box from a post office in Mattoon, Illinois, U.S. The package as of today (January 2, 2012 ) has not yet arrived. When I go to the USPS.com website to enter the custom number it shows the last information the post office has is when it left the original (Mattoon, Il) post office on December 12. Can I do anything? To make matters worse the buyer bought a similar item two weeks prior to mine and had not received the item. He contacted Paypal to stop payment on the first item and mistakedly stopped payment on mine instead. Now PayPal is holding my money until it is resolved. Paypal said they can track the item with the custom form # but said the post office has not updated the delivery information because the latest info they have is also when it left Mattoon on Dec 12. The last Paypal customer service rep I spoke with didn’t sound real confident about tracking it. Paypal told me to stay in contact with the buyer and hopefully he will tell me when it arrives. There is no guarantee that he will. He could say it never arrived and get the item plus the refund. ANY SUGGESTIONS IS APPRECIATED!!


  76. I´d like to send coffee to Russia, either green coffee or toasted and grinded. Green coffee makes me wonder. How the hell you deliver the real stuff to whatever decent coffee house or toaster in Russia?


  77. 55. I need to send iphone to a friend in Belarus.
    what is the safest way to send it.
    Is EMS is safe?
    Is Belarus also have a free tax limit of 1,000uro?
    pls help


  78. I recently mailed out some childrens cloths to Russia via Royal Mail. Value £30.. They never made it and have now been stuck in a never ending loop of red tape until they totally vanished. I now want to ship toys for Christmas. DHL and UPS wont ship them to private individuals any more. It looks to me like Russia is fast closing it’s doors on the outside world again,


  79. 54.Joy says:

    What about Belarus?? Part of the Federation??
    What about EMS?
    So what I do? To ship iphone or not to ship a gift to a friend?

    Do they take 30% customs tax too? It cost me 750$ including tax.
    Please HELP!!


  80. Does anyone know how i can send packages to Russia using online service and postage??


  81. Quoted
    <>

    Did you finally get your money back from USPS? I shipped an iphone to Russia & received an empty box sent back after 30 days. Filed a claim to USPS & been waiting for the response from them.


  82. Why we are talking about RUSSIA.How about Canada. How much time will take Canadian customs? I heard it can take 2-5 weeks! if Russian customs take 2 weeks it is not to bed at all.


  83. I came upon this chat via Google as I am a U.S. Amazon seller having a problem with a book that I shipped to Russia 2 months ago and still hasn’t arrived according to the buyer. I’ve shipped International via USPS Priority International Flate Rate envelopes for 4 years now and this is my first missing item. And what a coincidence, it’s the first one going to Russia! Due to Amazon only giving a $12.50 shipping credit, this is the only foreign method I’ve ever used so that I didn’t lose more money. Instead of the flat rate of $13.95, this book would’ve cost about $40 for the other USPS Priority International that you can get the insurance with. For a $55 book, that’s a no-brainer! AGAIN FOR THOSE WHO DIDN’T KNOW, USPS DOES NOT OFFER INSURANCE FOR THIS FLAT RATE ENVELOPE. I thought I was safe by having the Customs Declaration numbers in the past, but just received a rude awakening that it’s only good to verify that an item reaches our Customs, but apparently there’s no way to track after that. Not good! Can someone give me advice here? Or one of our Russian friends give me a link to Russian Customs or somewhere to see if it’s still sitting there. Though with my tracking number only being good on the U.S. side, the only thing I could offer for info to Russia is the recipient name and address. Thanks.


  84. I Have sent speaker cabinets to Russia Residential address. Customs have refused clearence & are returning them at a cost of nearly 600GBP . Is there anything i can do? It is so unfair they cost me nearly 300GBp to send . Help.


  85. Hi Guys, just a heads-up… I shipped 2 different packages to Russia via FEDEX….

    1. USD$960
    2. USD$650

    Both got rejected & shipped back to me (reason: high value), unless the currency exchange rate @ XE.com is faulty. Both packages, each is less than EUR1000, at least 1 package will go through.

    Very disappointing FEDEX is trying to make a quick buck, by promptly rejecting the package & charge me for return package. Rejected based on the limits set the FEDEX themselves. How ethical ?


  86. Hi I recently delivered a package with pair of heels, candies and letters inside from Denmark. I didn’t pay insurance and sent it regular. The lady at the post office said that it would take 2 days to get to Russia and then said that once it is in Russia it should take maybe 2 weeks. Its been 4 weeks now. I’m sending to a friends private address in Tver’. Is it normal that it could take longer?


  87. Shipping to Russia is no different from any international destination – you can always have your recipient claim they did not receive the package. Even Express Mail which normally shows door to door tracking will not trump a claim of non-receipt by must credit card companies. Having said this, I can count on one hand how many chargebacks I’ve had in over 10 years of shipping to nearly every major international destination including Russia. I do have a disclaimer that we cannot be responsible for delivery and customer waives their right to chargeback in the event of non-delivery. Our obligation is limited to providing proof the package was shipped as requested. Every blue moon a parcel does get “returned to sender” and we refund the charge minus the shipping cost. Another error in the original article (so many!) is that the cost of return shipping is not an additional charge. Finally, my best customers are in Russia. There is a lot of expendable income there and not to sell there is idiotic. But then, I don’t really want competition – which may be the author’s motive in the first place.


  88. Do not ship to Russia to many thieves . Customers claim they don’t receive after they pick up item . Ship to Russia at your own risk .


  89. or hot sauce?


  90. can you ship jelly to russia?


  91. I travel to Russia every year and the people I visit are some of the finest most caring people in the world. But I would never ship anything of great value there. Too many thieves are in a position of access to the goods that are sent. Every flat I have stayed in in Russia has 2 steel doors at the entry for good reason!


  92. Hi I need to ship nutrition supplament to Russia.
    What the best way to do this? what custom form i have to fill?


  93. I tried to ship a bottle of cognac to Russia but USPS would not ship it — they recommended UPS but UPS was going to charge almost $200 to ship a bottle that retails for $40! Does anyone know of an online store that sells spirits with reasonable shipping charges to Russia?


  94. I am a seller on eBay last year along I sold over 30k just in cell phones along mostly iphones. I have shipped to many countries, however Russia is the great fear factor here is why…USPS sent me a letter 2 weeks ago stating sorry your claim of $670 for the iphone4 is denied due to you shipping a “prohibited item” that is considered a “transmitter” it is the sellers responsibility not to violate customs blah blah blah you have so many days to appeal this decision. Ok so I have shipped 4 iphones into Russia 2 have made it and two have NOT.. NOW USPS INSURANCE IS NO GOOD. HERE IS THE KILLER PART … I HAVE 3 MORE RUSSIAN BUYERS WANTING FOR MY DECISION TO SHIP OR NOT Togliatti Samara region 445044, Khabarovsk RU 680000, and Chelyabinsk Chelyabinsk region 454080 . While Russian buyers pay quickly and its nice to see a quick sale, the risk may not be worth it ……unless I can find a way to ship iphones correctly and quickly. Currently fed ex stated yes you can ship an iphone…..what is the story with this Russia – iphones – customs – mail delivery – eBay. wow


  95. i have read quite a few threads here and specifically replying Vladimir. i can understand the customs restrictions and is true that every item sent to russia takes weeks to be delivered. reason – unknown. some says russian customs, some says russian postal services. had experience with fedex and parcelforce and they are comparatively reliable but way more costly than royal mail. i have a large number of russian buyers for leather jackets on ebay and everytime i ship to russia, it takes ages. thanks


  96. FedEx has currently stopped shipping to russia


  97. We often get customers complaining about the issues of sending gifts to Russia form the US or European Union before they decide to use our service
    Gifts get stuck on customs, gift recipients are inconvenienced to fill our a paperwork and sometimes pay customs dues to receive the gift.

    David


  98. I have a business in the states.
    i have a Fedex Account if i have over 150 pounds of goods it would cost me $650. to ship to russia
    i know thats a good price
    but what kind of problems can i have if the value is about $6,000


  99. Alhassan, I’m sorry you disagree with the post. There has been a lot of commentary on this post and challenges with getting product into Russia to the point where it is clearly a valid opinion and not a “lie”.

    I hope you continue to buy on eBay and not have shipping hassles. As a high volume shipper globally, Shipwire has notices issues with parcels going into Russia and we’re making people aware.

    Best,

    Nate Gilmore
    Shipwire VP Marketing


  100. I’m a registered eBayer since 2005 and as such can call this post a blatant lie. I buy all my stuff (home appliances, electronics, computers, countless smartphones that I have the habit of changing every other month, spare parts for my old chrysler concorde, etc) from the U.S. off eBay. It is due to comments like this some eBayers don’t eagerly want to ship to Russia. What a shame, indeed!


  101. Tamara, wake up! Laws have changed last summer! No more 10 000 rubles, 1000 euros a month!!


  102. To Anderey who asked:

    I need to send a $1500 computer to Moscow. What is the customs fee going to be on this item? Thanks

    If you send via USPS, you’ll pay 30% of the sum above 1000 euros. But you’ll waste your time at the customs. I would diminish the price 200 bucks to save time. Just dont ever lie. If you are sending brand new 1500 bucks laptop, dont write broken, dead piece of plastic $200. Write the truth about what you are sending and it’s condition and brand and everage price. Insure the parcel.

    Never send expensive staff via DHL.


  103. Cite: This article is correct and is a pattern of scamming. They talk you into shipping, and putting 300 dollars insurance. Go to USPS and see that all items of 101 USD to 1000 USD are subject to customs tax of 30%. They claim they don’t get their item, they file the insurance, then they do a payment reversal on their credit card. Seller loses the payment, the insurace, and likely the buyer will get the item. It’s a real mess.

    Hello another lie. I receive parcels from US every week. Check my feedback at Ebay – kinomasha

    Why should I go to USPS to check MY COUNTRY regulations, which is published here in Russian. Free of tax limit is 1000 euros a month per each member of the family if you ship via USPS.

    200 euros per week if free of tax limit if you ship by private services as UPS, Fedex etc.

    I’ve just received a book from Amazon.com shipped by UPS.

    I dont mind paying taxes, but in Russia they dont have online payment option, so you have to either to loose your time or to loose money paying brokers. That’s why for costly purchaces I use USPS.

    I dont understand what is “They write they havenot received the parcel” How is this possible if you ship via trackable USPS? You’ll by tracking if the parcel is received or not.

    I’ve just received a laptop via USPS express mail and keep ordering clothers. Russian Post is slow, yes, but absolutely working and delivering.

    As for stealing, sending expensive staff internationally is always a risk. And you can buy Iphone here in Russia, but to save 200 bucks you order it from Ebay, it’s always a risk.

    I’ve just received Sony laptop. I filled invoice correctly and my USPS parcel was insured, when it arrived I opened it at the precence of post clerk to file a claim if smth missing. But everything was ok.


  104. hi everybody,
    I live in Texas, and I often send packages to one of the former Soviet Republics – Kazakhstan. I usually send all kinda stuff: clothing, shoes, etc.. I use USPS which is the best economical option, money wise. Try to use Priority Mail (could be flat rate box); Express Mail is a little bit expensive but not much. They will have a tracking number. I used to use DHL services: what a waste of money, I’ll never use again. Priority Mail takes about 21-23 days to arrive there.


  105. i want to shipping something to russia.. detail is to ulyanovsk region.. but.. my position right now is in bali, part of indonesia country.any one know about that?? thanks…


  106. Same thing with DHL… frm India to the US a parcel will be delivered in 3 day..but to Russia…u will see the status “clearance delay” for 2 weeks. The question is: is it fair to pay so much if the parcel will not be delivered in a short period of time?


  107. Hi,

    I sell a natural whey protein. In two months I have received over 20 emails from all over Russia with people interested in the product.1 box of 30 pouches is less than 1lb. The company I represent does not ship to Russia so I am wondering how to go about this. I hear so much negative feedback about the shipping issues. Any thoughts? Plus I don’t speak Russian….help!


  108. I am sorry. Royal Mail orders to do no more than 10.000 rubles – in Russia in Omsk comes for 15-21 days.


  109. I regularly make orders from America, Britain, Italy and Germany. And very thankful to online stores that are shipping to Russia. FedEx shipping I did not order because they have limitations not more than $ 75. EMS shipping with tracking orders to do no more than 10,000 rubles – in Russia in Omsk comes for 15-18 days. UPS Express shipping orders must be done no more than 200 euros – in the city of Omsk in Russia comes in 5 – 7 days (by courier home) from the date of departure. USPS shipping with tracking to order no more than 10,000 rubles – Russia Comes for 15-16 days. Royal Mail orders to do no more than 10 million rubles – in Russia in Omsk comes for 15-21 days. DHL Express for individuals does not take orders. I have no problems with these shipping. It’s a shame when any store is shipping in over 100 countries – and in Russia there is no shipping. I beg your pardon I took the elektronymm translator.


  110. Nikolay, most references on this blog post have been about parcel shipping of individual product orders. The suspension of @allsaints shipping that was just publicized was clearly 1 product shipments to buyers.


  111. This is bullshit – Russia have most liberal customs in the world up to 1000 EU – no customs fees, but products should be for privite use – you can’t sent 100 snikers – it going to be coinsidered as comercial shipment.


  112. Andrey Ivanov says: I need to send a $1500 computer to Moscow. What is the customs fee going to be on this item?
    ($1500-$1375(or 1000euro))-30%=$37.5
    Recipient pays about $37.5 to custom tax.


  113. [...] all non-document arrivals to the country. This has caused so much hassle industry experts such as Shipwire have recommended merchants think twice before shipping to private individuals in Russia. They [...]


  114. This article is correct and is a pattern of scamming. They talk you into shipping, and putting 300 dollars insurance. Go to USPS and see that all items of 101 USD to 1000 USD are subject to customs tax of 30%. They claim they don’t get their item, they file the insurance, then they do a payment reversal on their credit card. Seller loses the payment, the insurace, and likely the buyer will get the item. It’s a real mess.


  115. I need to send a $1500 computer to Moscow. What is the customs fee going to be on this item? Thanks


  116. Here is another thread on this issue on another site if you want to continue your research and info on this. Confusion continues.

    http://www.shipito.com/16-shipping/4571-ups-shipping-to-russia


  117. If you’re shipping to Russia, and you’re using First Class Mail International, make sure you include registered mail service. It’s an extra $11.50. You just print your label, even online, if you want, but the registered mail form and number have to be obtained at the post office retail counter.

    I regularly send packages to somebody in Ufa, Bashkortostan, and adding registered service to first class seems to have greatly improved the speed. The latest package that I sent (some processors and memory) only took 1 1/2 weeks to arrive. Everything that I had sent before that, non-registered first class, Priority or small flat rate box had taken around two months before it was delivered. I’m never sending anything else to russia without registered service.

    Also included with USPS registered service is extra security. the parcel is sealed with paper tape, and every seal is date-stamped to prevent tampering with contents.


  118. Can i ship electronics into russia?
    As far as i know, a friend of mine had trouble shipping a mobile phone into moscow.


  119. How can i send a commercial package to russia?
    I have a friend that owns a store for selling clothes, i want to ship a computer, is that ok to ship it to his store address?
    Is that will be a commercial package ? what is the different between the fee and tax for individual package and commercial?


  120. Question:
    I live in the US. Someone in Moscow asked me to send him a desk chair. Just talked to the USPS and was told that they don’t take such big packages (60 lbs, 26′ around.) Now, which way is the best way to send the package? And what’s the rates?
    Thanks


  121. I have shipped items to Russia without instance (so far). Even if the item is sent priority mail, the item can be tracked using the CP number from the customs decleration form. Just go to USPS.com and put in the cp# in the tracking & confirm box.


  122. I’ve been doing Ebay sales for years…am up to about 2000 unique transactions, 99.8% positive. What I’ve experienced lately with some sales to Russia and Poland are disputes from buyers after about a month of waiting for packages $80 – $500, 1 – 5 pounds, USPS first class. I use Stamps.com because it allows first class international.
    After shipping I have the Customs Code, a number like: LJ123456789US
    When the buyer disputes this with Ebay, it goes to Paypal (owned by Ebay), who will try to find where the package is overseas and if there’s a record of it being delivered. Whomever Paypal agrees with wins, so to speak. If they agree with the seller, the seller keeps the money. If they agree with the buyer, the seller loses that money.
    Right now I have a case for around $350 and another for $460. I sure hope they side with me.
    Given this situation I’m leaning on making future purchases from various nations only allowable if they use a service where I can buy insurance…don’t think I can do that with USPS First Class, but can with Priority mail. It will increase the price considerably, but better than potentially losing the whole sale. Or, I’ll simply deny selling to certain countries as I often do with Central and South American.
    One more issue…buyers asking sellers to reduce the value of the products, say instead of declaring $350, making it a gift worth $25. Given the above notes saying customs allows 1000 Euros per month per individuals, I’ll simply tell buyers “no”…either be honest or cancel the sale.
    Anyway, I’m still thinking strategy in my mind but this seems to make sense.
    I’ll try to post again when Paypal determines the “winners and losers” of my two cases.


  123. UPS, FedEx and DHL are notorious for extorting “fees”. It is a complete mistake to ship to Russia via UPS, FedEx . They will overcharge you BIG TIME. USPS has reasonable shipping charges and it works great !


  124. can anyone tell me how to send a small personal packet to saint petersburg. my courier which i send through DHL came back saying that custome personnel has not cleared it. it conatin only few dresses for my friend and a greeting card.


  125. “5) Send the package via USPS mail, which has simplified forms (but no tracking).”

    Do you really think that this is the best way of sending in such situation?
    In this case not only Russian Postoffice may lose the package, but your side either!
    And we’ll never find it.!


  126. Hey everybody, thank you for your enthusiastic responses. After reading a few of the responses, I should better explain my post. I’d like to take a moment and say those 5 steps above were considerations and not set in stone as facts or hard truths. I didn’t post this blog because I was angry at issues I was having shipping my orders to Russia. Rather, I noticed many Shipwire merchants actually had trouble with it and some of my methodology I posted seemed to make it easier for our merchants to get products to buyers in Russia.

    Clearly, many of our blog readers have great experience with this and so in the spirit of cooperative learning and blogging I’d like to again invite anyone else with thoughts on how to make it easier for sellers to get orders to individuals in Russia. We reached out to one of the individual’s who commented and Vladimir has sent some recommendations. I would like thank him for taking the time to write them as we share them with you below:

    1. There is a bit of fraud with people claiming “item not received.” Protect yourself! If you are selling from eBay, learn the eBay buyer profile and feedback. Lots of recent people with feedback mean honest buyers.

    2. Use only USPS (state) postage; you can prove the final delivery to eBay/PayPal with ease. Commercial carriers (UPS/FedEx) are the real headache. Unhappy recipient has to visit customs; otherwise, he/she should pay to carrier for brokerage.

    3. Always use registered USPS mail; add US$11.50 to First Class Small Packet. When using Shipwire, go ahead and choose Priority Mail International Parcel or Express Mail International. You can find usps information here: http://pe.usps.gov/text/imm/ps_013.htm#ep1603920

    4. If you use Priority Mail International Parcel or Express Mail International, always use insurance. You may want to consider general business insurance as well. Always make sure you use the real value when insuring.

    5. Always fill CP72 form (CP72/2976A Customs Declaration Dispatch Note) neatly, especially Total Value and Insured Value lines. These values should be truthful and equal. I know a lot of problems with carelessly written addresses, digits etc.

    6. Customs is not a problem. The limitations are easy and understandable. Generally, we have the following limitations for import: tobacco, any vegetation (except tea, coffee etc.), intelligence gadgets (special hidden cameras, microphones etc.), alcohol beverages, ozone destruction matters. Jewelry is not prohibited but the parcel should be insured.

    7. Generally, the parcel goes from the USA to Russia between 17-19 days (typical).

    8. The most “dangerous” items are fashionable electronics (e.g.: pda device). I do not recommend sending them. Half of these thefts are in the USA, and the other half are in Russia.

    9. If you have a dispute, do not rush to refund the buyer’s charges, wait some time; give yourself 10 days before giving the refund; the parcel may appear.

    10. These recommendations are only valid for recipients – natural persons; only if they have customs benefits of up to $1300. Companies will have a lot of paper work if the item price is higher than ~ $230.

    Again, thank you for your enthusiastic response posts and hopefully this helps clear up who I am (I work for Shipwire in the Merchant Success Team) and some of the reasons for this post.


  127. To Alex: Why shouldnt the retail price be more than $75 if free of tax limit is $330? And even more after the 1 of July?

    To Jeremy Rudolph: What makes you think you should write about the things you know nothing about? This article is may be somewhat correct in the title but absolutely wrong in facts.


  128. Hi! Actually that low-price invoice practice sucks and has made things worse, and you are losing customers. Never do it, foreign shippers, NEVER. And believe me you will have a lot of good customers from Russia.


  129. Thanks for your interest to my native country, pleased to hear that some foreigners still think of us even worse than the real situation here.

    Saying that there’s plenty of problems with shipping to Russia, you’re right… but only partially, because if you do everything right, you will barely face any of them. Let me explain.

    Shipping via USPS First-Class Mail is one of the best methods to make your parcel disappear for 2-4 months – easily! No tracking means no parcel in Russia, it’s true. But if you add several bucks (which I always do when I order from the USA – quite often) and ship it as Priority Mail or Express Mail, believe me, you’ll be very surprised! Because your mail will arrive in 2-3 weeks or maximum 1 month. Same thing for Royal Mail (at least International Signed For is trackable within Russia), same thing for DHL Mail (trackable as well).

    Want to be protected from some stupid customers (which of course exist), which start all those chargebacks in a week after ordering? Don’t announce on your website that shipping to Russia takes “5-14 days”, because it’s almost impossible, tell people the truth – 1 month +/- 2 weeks, and make them agree to these terms before placing their orders. So easy to do that!

    As for maximum retail value vs customs, I’d like to share with you some information: starting with July 1st Russia entered the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Customs_Union_of_Belarus,_Kazakhstan_and_Russia), which raised the maximum total value of goods imported by individuals via post to 1000 EUR per month, and that’s pretty much for 99% online orders.

    Let me indoduce myself. I live in Moscow. I order online regularly for 2 years already, and here are my experiences: t-shirts and nutritional supplements from the USA (lots of times, values up to $350 per parcel), jewelry, clothing and fashion accessories from the UK (FedEx works great!), clothing and chemicals (!) from The Netherlands, electronics from Germany, various cheap stuff from Hong Kong. Yes, I did face shipping delays several times. But it was mostly around the NYE, which, AFAIK, shown the same situation at least in France and in the UK – heavy “parcel traffic”. All the parcels arrived in the very end, but it took more time than expected.

    Sorry, but suggesting not to sell goods to Russians is silly. Better come up with idea how to make those sales safe for sellers – and many and many people will say thank you.

    - Always use shipping methods with full tracking, even if it’s more expensive.
    - Never lower the invoices, never! Customs officers are not that stupid, and many problems are caused by lowered invoices, even in cases when buyer didn’t ask about it!
    - To be totally safe, only sell goods up to 1000 EUR total and not more.
    - Announce reasonable times on your website – it’s better to look “slower than a neighbor’s shop”, but never respond to complaints.

    In the very end, if you need an advise – just ask experienced Russian buyers, there are people who would be pleased to help only to make sure that Russia won’t disappear from a list of shipping destinations. You can’t imagine how high prices in Russia are. Losing an ability to order from abroad will make us desperately nuke smth, hehe ;))).


  130. Who is Jeremy Rudolph?


  131. Sorry guys.
    Our custom is realy bull_”you_know_what_I_mean”.

    Sorry.


  132. Indeed, sending your product to Russia may give you some pain in the neck, but usually everything goes through well.
    Adding to the post, i can say that the value of your shipment should not be more than $75

    good luck


  133. Dear Jeremy,

    Where did you take these silly Russian “laws”? I am experienced eBayer since 2007 and receive 5-8 items every month. I know customs and postal legislation quite well and ready to clarify the situation.

    1. “Russian customs authorities have a restriction on dutiable shipments sent to private individuals…” – WRONG!
    We have FEWER limitations than US, Canada and France, for example, obviously, except arms, narcotics and so on.
    2. “This can take days, sometimes even weeks, where they are being looked at with extraordinary scrutiny in an effort to improve the accuracy of accompanying shipping documentation…” – WRONG!
    Maximum delay between import and leaving customs is 6-8 days, typically 6 days. The reason is that older Russian Post infrastructure does not allow prompt processing. Real period in customs is 1-2 days.
    3. Duty-free limit since July 01, 2010 is 1000 Euros (US$1300). The excess should be imposed by duty of 30% (postal tariff does not take in consideration).
    4. “Make sure you know the 6 digit HS number…” – WRONG! It is fantasy of fairy tail or spell. You must fill only CP72 form (for USPS parcel), it is the international customs declaration used by UPU worldwide. But do that correctly; this procedure is easy.
    5. ” Do not include any prohibited items…” – SACRED TRUTH!
    Please do that in any country indeed! I do not think that FBI will love your parcel with 100 signed portraits of Bin Laden.
    6. “Send the package via USPS mail…” – GOOD ADVICE! It is reliable and cheap. I always reject UPS/FedEx/DHL mailing. The reason is easy: your lovely (is it so?) transnational companies do not want to follow their business standards in Russia. They delegated their brands to partners, nothing more. Tariffs are terrible: US$100 for minimal weight of one pound. Nobody wants to use this outbound service, and companies want to take their money… you are right, from the recipients: storage, exhibition to customs, execution of documents, brokerage etc. Good idea! If you buy books for US$100 sometimes, you must pay up to US$100 and more to carrier. Any sensible person will reject – let the parcel fly back away… That is the reason of returns, nothing more – greediness.
    7. “…USPS mail, which has simplified forms (no tracking though)” – WRONG! USPS HAS tracking! Add US$11.50 to First Class Small Packed and you will get tracking. ALL Priority/Express Mail parcels have tracking with no extra pay (excluding that stinky Flat Rate Envelopes/Boxes).
    8. So, follow eBay rules, use tracking, insurance, and you will be happy. But first do not disseminate the panics. You had no sources of truthful information.

    Thanks for reading! Any questions?


  134. Hi. I leave in Russian and buy a huge amount of item via Internet. And it really disappoints me that there is so much WRONG information in what you have wrote. Honestly, i can’t even decide where to start, because basically EVERYTHING is wrong. Some major points

    1) Duty free limit in Russia was around $330 before 1st July, and now it is 1000 Euro. It’s much bigger than duty free limits anywhere in EU (20-50 Eur) or even US (200 USD). Actually i know only one other major country with that generous duty free limit – Australia

    2) USPS is best option to send items to Russia. First of all, UPS, FedEx and DHL are notorious for extorting “fees” from recipients. This has no relation whatsoever to customs duty. Typically they demand $100-150 just to deliver a parcel that was already paid for by.

    3) USPS does offer tracking on most of it’s products. Only cheapest ones doesn’t offer tracking.

    4) That list of prohibited items from USPS is ancient as hell, and no longer valid.

    Basically i have no idea who told you so much lies about how customs works in Russia.


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