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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Import Fees Go On Despite Letter of the Law

Moving company officials said Tuesday that they are still being forced to pay a 60 percent import duty on the personal possessions of foreigners coming to live in Russia, even as the State Customs Committee stated in writing that the duty is not required by law.

As outlined in a letter from deputy customs chairman Sergei Bekov to The Moscow Times, customs policy towards foreigners is that they should not have to pay tax on goods required for their personal use.

Yet low-level customs officials are demanding that moving companies pay 60 percent of the value of all goods they ship into Russia for foreign citizens, continuing a practice estimated to have cost foreigners hundreds of thousands of dollars this year alone.

"It is still the same, you have to pay 60 percent," Peter Burggraaf of Voerman International Moving said Tuesday. His company paid several thousand dollars for a client five days ago and $6,500 earlier this month for an executive at Masterfoods.

In his letter, Bekov recommended that those who have been wrongly charged should appeal to "higher customs organs."