Russia's new anti-terror laws could cost Russian delivery companies 180 billion rubles ($2.8 billion), the Vedomosti newspaper reported Wednesday, citing the Russian Association of Long-Distance Traders.
Under the new laws, which come into force from July 1 2018, postal service providers will be required to employ X-rays, metal and gas detectors, and other equipment to scan for the presence of weapons, explosive devices and other illegal items in letters and parcels.
The Russian State Postal Service, who currently hold 70 percent of the market share, have estimated that purchasing the required equipment for all of its 42,000 branches will cost at least 500 billion rubles ($7.8 billion) with an extra 100 billion rubles ($1.5 billion dollars) needed annually for maintenance, Vedomosti reported.
The same regulations could double the cost of delivery for online stores, leading to an estimated 30 to 40 percent drop in online orders, said Alexander Ivanov, president of Russia’s Association of Long-Distance Traders.
“Shoppers will not buy goods whose delivery costs as much as the goods themselves,” he said.
A raft of anti-terror legislation authored by ultra-conservative United Russia lawmaker Irina Yarovaya was approved last week by President Vladimir Putin.
The legislation has attracted strong criticism from both industry leaders and human rights groups for increasing state surveillance and placing large financial pressures on businesses.
American NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden said last week that the law “not only violates human rights, but common sense too.”