Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law establishing in Russia a tax free system to let non-Russian residents get value-added tax on their goods refunded upon leave the country. The system will be valid as of 1 January 2018. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has published a list of shops in six Russian regions, including St. Petersburg, which have a right to stamp tax free forms.
Tax free will be available in Russia in the early next year, but in a test mode. In fact, the retailers say, it will start working in the middle of 2018 after some legal and technical moments will be cleared up. Right now, the trade industry is still studying the subject, which is rather new for Russian shops.
The law envisages that residents of countries outside the European Asian Economic Partnership zone which includes Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, are eligible for reimbursement of 18% (minus an operator’s commission) on the goods purchased in Russia at some shops. Tax free doesn’t cover excisable goods, i. e. cigarettes, except alcohol. So, you’ll not have to pay for the Russian vodka in full. Other conditions are that the sum of the purchased goods is no less than 10,000 rubles ($167) and that they all have to be bought within one day. And, traditionally, the buyer has to fill in a special form and then get it stamped when leaving Russia. Naturally, refund is applied only to goods that are going to be exported.
There is news in the press that Russia is going to found its own tax free operator which will reportedly be named Hi Ski. That doesn’t exclude, perhaps, the activities of Global Blue and Premiere Tax Free.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade‘s representative said that the test period would last till 1 October 2018, soon thereafter the list of shops eligible for tax free operations would be enlarged. Right now, in St. Petersburg only 11 shopping centers have a right to this. But, once again, real operations will start a few months later.
In the list below, some malls take several buildings so they have a few addresses.
List of Shopping Malls In St. Petersburg Entitled To Provide Tax Free Purchases As Of 1 January 2018
1. House of Lenindrad Trade (or DLT). 21-23, Bolshaya (Big) Konyushennaya street;
2. Bosco di Chiliegi. 11, 12 and 16, Nevsky avenue;
3. Bol’shoy Gostinyy dvor (Grand Shopping arcade). 35, Nevsky avenue;
4. Shopping mall Nevsky center (Stockman). 114-116, Nevsky avenue;
5. Shopping center Moskovsky. 205, 207 and 220, Moskovsky avenue;
6. Shopping center Near the Red bridge. 78, Moika river;
7. Passenger sea port Marine Façade.
Other Russian regions and cities that have shops eligible for tax free:
— City of Velikiy Novgorod (Novgoroskaya oblast);
— Primorskiy Krai;
— Kaliningradskaya oblast;
— Krasnodarskiy krai.
Tax free system is also back on trains Leo Tolstoy and Allegro connecting Finalnd and Russia.