|Main||>>||Customs Rules for Natural Persons||>>||MOVEMENT OF GOODS FOR PERSONAL USE BY INDIVIDUALS ACROSS THE CUSTOMS BORDER OF THE CUSTOMS UNION AND CUSTOMS OPERATIONS CONNECTED WITH THEIR RELEASE|
The main document regulating the movement of goods for personal use is the Agreement on the movement of goods for personal use by individuals across the customs border of the Customs Union and customs operations connected with their release (herein – the Agreement). The document is aimed at implementing the provisions of Chapter 49 of the Customs Code of the Customs Union. The Agreement took effect on 6 July 2010.
The Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation have adopted the most preferential terms in respect of duty-free import limits.
Thus, the limit for free-duty import of personal effects, both in accompanied and unaccompanied baggage, is €1500, with the total weight of 50kg. One should not be confused, however, that the amount of 50kg of homogeneous goods is allowed for the import. The intended purpose of goods is still determined by the customs authorities taking into account the statement of an individual, the nature and quality of goods as well as the frequency of crossing the customs border of the Customs Union by an individual and (or) the goods.
In line with the Agreement, duty-free concessions cover alcoholic beverages and beer of not more than 3 liters inclusive, and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars (cigarillos) or 250gr tobacco, or the abovementioned goods in assortment with the total weight under 250gr. Alcoholic beverages, beer, tobacco and tobacco products can be imported by individuals over 18 years old. If the import of alcoholic beverages and beer exceeds 3 liters, customs duties are charged at a flat rate of €10 per 1 liter in excess of duty-free concession; the import of more than 5 liters is prohibited. The same rules are applied to tobacco and tobacco products imported in excess of duty-free allowances.
As compared with the Provision on concessional transportation of goods for personal use across the customs border and their simplified clearance approved by Belarus President’s Decree No 503 of 15 October 2010 (herein – Provision), which norms are currently applied in the part that does not contradict the Customs Union legislation, the Agreement eliminates quantity restrictions on the import of jewelry and food products. The abovementioned categories of goods are allowed for the import under general limits (50kg and €1500).
The Agreement preserves some privileges in regard to the goods imported by certain categories of people:
1. Goods for personal use, except for vehicle bodies imported by diplomatic personnel, administrative and service staff with duty assignment at the diplomatic offices and consulates of the Customs Union member state as well as by their families;
2. Goods for personal use, except for vehicle bodies imported by the Government employees whose duty assignment outside the customs territory of the Customs Union is longer than 11 months. This category of goods can be imported once a calendar year during the duty assignment abroad;
3. Goods for personal use, except for vehicle bodies imported by residents of the Customs Union member states, who return from abroad where they were registered at the consulate of the Customs Union member state at least for a year;
4. Goods for personal use inherited by a resident of the Customs Union member state outside the customs territory of the Customs Union (recognized as heritables), providing there is documentary confirmation of that fact (recognition as heritables).
Note: the document confirming inheritance by a resident of the Republic of Belarus outside the customs territory of the Customs Union and containing the list of inherited goods is an apostille document issued by a notary or other competent body of the country where commencement of succession proceedings take place, and legalized if the Republic of Belarus has no agreement signed on legal assistance with the country in the manner prescribed by laws of the Republic of Belarus and by international agreements.
5. Goods for personal use imported by persons arriving in the Republic of Belarus for permanent residence. The period of duty-free import of such goods has been extended from 12 to 18 months. Restrictions have been put on the import of transport vehicles and trailers. A motor vehicle and a trailer must be in possession and registered as the property of the individual claiming the privilege at least 6 months prior to relocation.
The document sets a new privilege in regard to cultural property imported to the Customs Union. This category of goods is exempted from customs duties in case they are recognized as cultural property. These items are allowed for duty-free import by any means of transportation except for international mail.
Goods that are subject to preferences are released into free circulation on the territory of the state where the individual that claims the privilege resides. Such goods are sent to the place of destination under the customs procedure of customs transit provided the customs duties are paid. The exception is made only when the customs body of one of the Customs Union member states confirms the possibility of exemptions to the customs body of another member state of the Customs Union. All other goods for personal use are released at the customs clearance border post.
According to the Agreement, limits prescribed by laws of the Republic of Belarus are applied to the goods sent via international mail and delivered by a carrier (freight shipping and overnight deliveries).
Thus, according to the Provision, free-duty import in international mail is allowed within a calendar month, with the total value under €120, in freight shipping and overnight deliveries – under €10.
In the transportation of goods in excess of duty-free concessions, the rate of customs duties, taxes equates 30% of the cost, but not less than €4 per 1kg.
A possibility of applying free-duty import limits to the goods sent in international mail and delivered by a carrier is under consideration.
The limits of free-duty import as well as the rates of customs duties, taxes do not apply to indivisible goods - goods weighing more than 35kg, consisting of one unit or one set of goods, including transportable in parts, dismantled, unassembled, incomplete or unfinished, given the product has a basic property of the collected, complete or a completed product. Such goods are not included into the aggregate value and weight limit for duty-free import and are allowed for the import with the payment of customs duties and taxes in the form of aggregate customs payment. It means that customs duties are levied in accordance with the Unified Customs Tariffs applied in the import of goods by juridical entities and entrepreneurs. VAT is calculated using the same rates as in the Customs Union member state which releases goods into free circulation. Today the VAT rate in the Republic of Belarus is 20%. A refrigerator, a washing machine or a set of furniture are indivisible goods.
The list of goods that the Agreement bills as prohibited and restricted for the import and (or) export across the customs border of the Customs Union is complaint with the list of goods prohibited and restricted for the import and (or) export across the customs border of the Customs Union approved by Interstate Council’s Decision No 19 of 27 November 2010.
Such goods are specified in the supplement below.
The Agreement spells out the categories of goods that cannot be treated as goods for personal use. Thus, the rules governing personal effects cannot be applied to:
In line with the Agreement, motor vehicles as well as sea vessels and aircrafts can be considered as transport vehicles for personal use. At the same time different customs regulations are applied in regard to various categories of transport vehicles.
Motor vehicles include:
passenger minibuses under commodity heading 8702, with the total number of seats not exceeding 12;
freight and passenger minibuses under commodity heading 8704 21 and 8704 31 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of the Customs Union with the total weight under 5 tonnes;
snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, other transport vehicles under commodity heading 8703 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of the Customs Union, not designed for public-access roads;
motorcycles, mopeds, scooters under commodity heading 8711 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System of the Customs Union.
Motor vehicles include transport vehicles that fall under heading 8703 of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (up to 9 seats inclusive), except for snowmobiles, 4-wheelers, other transport vehicles under the abovementioned heading not designed for public-access roads.
Transport vehicles registered in the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan or the Russian Federation are not subject to declaration while crossing the customs border of the Customs Union.
Temporary import of transport vehicles registered in a foreign state is allowed for a period of up to 6 months for the residents provifrf the customs duties are paid, and for a period of up to 1 year for nonresidents without the payment of customs duties.
The customs duties for the import of transport vehicles registered in a foreign state by residents of the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan or the Russian Federation across the Belarusian part of the customs border of the Customs Union are the following:
€1000 - for motor vehicles manufactured 3 to 10 years ago inclusive, with the engine volume under 2500 cubic meters;
€3000 – for motor vehicles manufactured more than 14 years ago;
€1500 – for all other types of vehicles. This rate is valid until 1 July 2011.
The initial term set by the customs body is 3 months. If the extension of the time limit is needed, the individual, before the time of temporary import expires, must address any authorized customs body with a request to extend it to the maximum allowable.
Note: the transfer of temporarily imported motor vehicles to other persons is permitted if these vehicles have been declared with customs officials and customs duties are paid in the amount payable for release for free circulation. The only exception is transfer of a motor vehicle to another person for its further export with the permission of the customs body if the export by the customs applicant is impossible due to his/her death, disease or other objective reason.
If the import of transport vehicles for personal use pursues release for free circulation, it is done on the territory of the state where the individual resides. Residents of the Republic of Belarus who import motor vehicles for permanent use shall pay customs duties and taxes spelled out in the Provision (Supplement 2). The aforesaid rates of customs duties are valid until 1 July 2011. In case these categories of transport vehicles are imported by residents of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, they are sent to the place of destination under the customs procedure of customs transit provided the customs duties and taxes are paid in the amount payable for release of such vehicles in the Russian Federation.
Other categories of transport vehicles for personal use are imported for permanent use with the payment of customs duties and taxes in the form of aggregate customs payment.
In accordance with the Agreement, only motor vehicles can be imported by one individual on behalf of another person.
Under the transitional provisions, transport vehicles imported to the Republic of Belarus or the Republic of Kazakhstan after 1 January 2010 at the rates different from those valid in the Russian Federation or from the Unified Customs Tariffs of the Customs Union are subject to customs duties in the amount of the underpaid difference in case a motor vehicle is sold into the Russian Federation.
The abovementioned amounts are collected at the Belarusian-Russian and Belarusian-Kazakhstani border. If these amounts are paid to the budget of the Republic of Belarus or the Republic of Kazakhstan, such transport vehicles are entitled for free movement on the territory of the Russian Federation. The restriction is in force until 1 January 2013. The aforesaid categories of transport vehicles registered in the Republic of Belarus or the Republic of Kazakhstan can be temporarily imported by residents of the abovementioned states to the Russian Federation, but with restrictions regarding their transfer to other persons.