GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia to open duty-free stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg for the staff of diplomatic missions and consular offices

GlavUpDK under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia is going to open duty-free stores in Moscow and St. Petersburg in compliance with Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 1330, dated July 26, 2022, "On Organization of Duty-Free Trade for Diplomatic Missions, Consular Offices, Missions of States to International Organizations, International Organizations or their Representations Located in the Russian Federation, and Members of Diplomatic Missions, Consular Officials and their Family Members Who Reside with Them, Staff (Personnel, Officials)."

Only foreign nationals – employees of diplomatic missions and consular offices of foreign states, representative offices of states at international organizations, international organizations or their representations may purchase goods that are exempt from import customs duties and VAT, along with the official representative offices specified in the Decree, and members of their families upon presentation of accreditation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 

 GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia, together with the operator to be chosen following an open tendering procedure and its registration as a legal entity, shall draw up a range of goods for these stores 

 They will be sold both for Russian rubles and in foreign currencies – U.S. dollars and euros. It will be possible to buy only goods placed and declared under the customs procedure of duty-free trade. Making a purchase in the store means completion of the customs procedure, i.e. duty-free trade, following which purchases become goods for personal use. 

Unlike Duty-Free stores, usually located in transit areas and available only to individuals, Duty-Free stores opened and controlled by GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia will be situated within the city. Meanwhile, the activities of these stores are subject to rules similar to those of Duty Free: the store owner is required to be included in the register under the law of the Eurasian Economic Union and the law of the Russian Federation on customs regulations, and accounting shall comply with the Russian laws on accounting, taxes and levies. 

 "The stores that will appear in Moscow (one) and St. Petersburg (one) are mistakenly considered a revival of the Soviet-era "Berezka" which, along with foreigners, could also be visited by our citizens with Vneshposyltorg receipts. The established duty-free stores will serve exclusively employees of foreign diplomatic missions and consular offices, as well as members of their families, comprehensively providing conditions for their comfortable work and life in the Russian Federation. Moreover, it should be noted that work on this Decree has been underway for several years and was initiated after numerous appeals from foreign diplomatic missions, which referred to generally accepted international practice. In particular, it could be noted that similar stores in this or that form exist in many foreign countries, including Austria, Belarus, Kenya, China, United States (New York, Washington), Switzerland," noted Vyacheslav Fatin, Acting Head of GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia. 

 GlavUpDK under the MFA of Russia is currently developing a plan of specific measures to organize this work as instructed by the Government of the Russian Federation. 

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