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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ask a Stupid Question

How much caviar am I allowed to take out of the country?

It is difficult to think of a better present from Russia to give to your relatives and friends abroad than a jar of delicious black or red caviar.

But there are certain limits on how much caviar you are allowed to take out of the country, and it is best to be prepared so there are no nasty surprises at the airport or on the border.

When shopping for caviar in stores around town, keep in mind that a customs officer will allow only a factory-packaged caviar container -- either glass or tin -- to leave Russia with you. Market-bought containers with some plastic over the top just won't do.

And unfortunately, customs laws of the Russian Federation allow an individual to take no more than 250 grams of black sturgeon caviar and no more than 500 grams of red salmon caviar out of the country.

If you're looking for ways around these restrictions, it is also good to keep in mind that international courier services will not help you send some caviar to your grandma or auntie.

"Courier services don't deliver caviar of sturgeon, as it is considered to be a special product subject to excise duty and requires special registration at excise customs," explained Maxim Zyuzin, marketing department director at UPS in Moscow.

On a recent visit to a duty free shop in Domodedovo Airport, this reporter spotted a blue-lidded 56.8-gram jar of Beluga caviar for $50, while a similar yellow-lidded jar of Osetrova caviar was slightly cheaper at $36 and the red-lidded Sevruga caviar was the most modest in price, retailing at $34 for a jar of the same size.

The cheaper red salmon caviar was sold at $39 for a large 380-gram jar, and a smaller, 70-gram jar cost just $8.

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