New customs regulations create a strain on international Ecommerce shipments in Russia.
Russia, one of the fastest growing Ecommerce markets, set a barricade recently to western internet retailers. The new regulations, while not tax or item type related, has resulted in large amounts of paperwork and bureaucracy creating issues for parcel service providers such as DHL and FedEx.
Both FedEx and DHL have halted international express deliveries to Russia as a result of the new customs regulations. The new paperwork is required for all parcels with the exception of documents, regardless of the item value.
“This impacts mostly shipments for business-to-consumer ecommerce for customers such as Amazon and Net-A-Porter. That is a minor part of our business, but it is a fast-growing market,” said Daniel McGrath, a spokesman for DHL Express.
Russia has the largest internet market per capita in Europe with 70 million users, and currently 2% of all retail sales are conducted online. That number is expected to increase to 5% until 2015.
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These numbers have created a large interest in Russia from many International Ecommerce firms with eBay and Aliexpress now offering Russian versions of their websites. London-based online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter has begun to support Russian orders while Amazon has begun offering shipping on select items to Russia.
Similar issues have already accorded in the past. In 2010 a customs reform forced DHL to cease express shipping to Russia. DHL slowly began to offer the shipping option to Russia once again after streamlining the customs process. However, the new reform requires some original documentation and credit card records to be presented at customs alongside the package. These pieces of information are not made available to parcel companies such as DHL and FedEx.
Russia joins Argentina who also recently began to regulate new customs regulations for international orders.