Customs Tax on Commercial Goods and Items for Personal Use


Customs Tax on Commercial Goods and Items for Personal Use

The goods that are brought in Russia for professional use or for merchandise should be declared and will be subject to the customs fee if their totalvalue exceeds 65 thousand rubles or if their total weight is more than 50 kilograms. The customs feewill be 30% of the total value (determined by the customs officers), but not less than 4 EUR per kilogram. It is up to the customs officers to determine which goods are considered to be for professional use, and which goods are for personal use, and this border is a bit blurred. The main thing to consider is that this regulation is created to avoid illegal import. For instance, if you bring in a laptop, you don’t need to declare it and no tax should be paid, even if you know it costs more than $2150 US. However, if you bring in two laptops, the customs may consider that you may sell the second laptop, or you will be using it for commercial activity (to establish an office, for example). In that case, they will sum up their total cost and you will have to pay 30%. The only way to evade the tax is to prove that it’s for your own personal use, and you are going to bring it back home. The main thing that the officers should be sure about is that you’re not going to sell it in Russia, and you’re not going to make some sort of commercial shooting with it. In case you do not want to pay the customs tax, you can leave the item at the border and take it back when leaving the country. In this case you will need to get an official paper from the customs which describes exactly what item was taken, its value, and the reason for it being “detained” at the border.

Exercise 4.Consult the text and find the English equivalents to the following word combinations.

1. использование в коммерческих целях; 2. неупакованная вещь (предмет); 3. наличная иностранная валюта; 4. фондовые и ценные бумаги; 5. подлежащий декларированию; 6. сильнодействующее лекарство; 7. общий вес (масса); 8. коммерческая цель; 9. платить налог; 10. оставить вещь/предмет на границе.

Exercise 5.Decide whether the following statements are true or false. Correct the false ones.

1. If you have $ 4000 US you can go through the “green corridor”. 2. If you want to avoid going through the “red corridor”, don’t bring any money. 3. Strong medicines, poisons, items that have cultural value for Russia are necessary to declare and are subject to special permission valid in Russia or your doctor’s prescription when bringing in. 4. The customs fee is determined by the customs officer. 5. In case you don’t want to pay the customs tax, you shouldn’t go abroad.

Exercise 6.Answer the following questions. Use the text when necessary.

1. In what case might you be charged 20% tax when you enter the country? 2. How much cash foreign currencies can be brought to Russia without any tax? 3. What items should be declared? 4. What should you do with your money if you want to avoid going through the “red corridor”? 5. What items must have doctor’s prescription when being brought in/out? 6. What should you obtain to take out restricted items? 7. In what case will the goods for professional use of for merchandise be subject to the customs fee? 8. What is the minimal customs fee? 9. Who can determine which goods are for professional or for personal use? 10. What is the way to evade the tax?


Exercise 7.Give a short summary of the text.

Exercise 8.Now read and translate the text about the Import Regulations. Use the dictionary when necessary.

Import Regulations

Passengers arriving with goods purchased within the EU which are for personal use only have free import. But if goods provided being for personal consumption and gifts for family and friends are unlimited they obtain duty and tax paid in the EU. However, if bringing large quantities of alcohol or tobacco and stopped by Customs, questions may be asked regarding journey, purchases and purpose of the goods, particularly if the amounts exceed: 1) tobacco products: 3,200 cigarettes; or 400 cigarillos (maximum 3 grams each); or 200 cigars; or 3 kilogram of pipe or cigarette tobacco; 2) alcoholic beverages, for passengers 16 years of age and older: 10 liters of spirits over 22%; or 20 liters of alcoholic beverages less than 22%; or 90 liters of wine (though no more than 60 liters of sparkling wine); or 110 liters of beer.


Products of animal origin, not originating from an EU member state, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino or Switzerland, are not permitted to be imported into an EU Member state, with the exception of limited amounts from Andorra, Croatia, the Faeroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland and small amounts of specific products from other countries.

Arms and Ammunition regulations:

Import of firearms (incl. sporting guns and shotguns) and ammunition must be supported by an appropriate license/certificate plus a permit. This permit can be obtained at the relevant police authority by a sponsor who is resident in the UK. The sponsor may be an individual or a representative of a club, shooting syndicate, country estate or national shooting organization. If a visitor has no permit, then the weapon will be detained by H.M. Customs until a permit is produced. Weapons taken from passengers prior to embarkation for safe stowage in the aircraft must be returned to the passenger by a responsible officer of the airline or handling agent in the presence of an officer of H.M. Customs in the red channel of the arrival customs hall. Furthermore such items must be clearly “identified” so that they can be presented to H.M. Customs for clearance in accordance with the prevailing instructions.

The use of a sticker/label will ensure that all firearms and ammunition therefore are quickly and easily identified on arrival, thus obviating difficulties with customs clearance.

Additional Information on regulations:

Prohibited: indecent or obscene books, films or videos.

Foodstuffs (for personal consumption): the following may be brought into the U.K. if arriving from: 1) an EU country, Andorra, the Canary Islands, the Isle of Man, Norway and San Marino: meat and meat products, milk and dairy products (not applicable to unpasteurized milk and its products) and other animal products (e.g. fish, shellfish, honey, eggs) provided obtained in the EU and free from disease; 2) all other countries: generally 1kg (rules vary per product/country) of other animal products (e.g. fish, shellfish, honey, eggs) provided free from disease. No meat and meat products, milk and dairy products are permitted.

All travelers may carry a limited quantity of powdered infant milk, infant food and special foods required for medical reasons, provided items do not require refrigeration prior to opening and must be in commercially branded packaging, unopened unless in current use.

Fruit, vegetables, plants and plant products (all for personal use and must be free from signs of pests and diseases), the following may be brought into the U.K. if arriving from: 1) an EU country, Andorra, the Canary Islands, the Isle of Man and San Marino: all plants or plant products provided they were grown in these countries; 2) other specific European countries and other countries in the Euro-Mediterranean area and all other countries: a limited amount of certain fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products, with restrictions on many others.

Pets: cats and dogs are subject to special regulations. In all other cases, cats and dogs (including Seeing Eye dogs) and other mammals are subject to rabies control measures. They must not be shipped as baggage. Animals must be carried in the hold of the aircraft in a “nose and paw proof crate or container” as manifested cargo. Cats and dogs must be accompanied by a health certificate and a “boarding document” as an indication that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has issued an import license.


Exercise 9.Choose the right answer.

1. Passengers arriving with goods purchased within the EU which are for personal use only have …

a) free export; b) duty; c) free import; d) tax.

2. What do unlimited goods provided for personal use and gifts for family obtain?

a) duty and tax; b) free import; c) permission; d) license.

3. What products not originating from an EU member state are not permitted to be imported into a EU Member state?

a) firearms and ammunition; b) foodstuffs;

c) plants products; d) products of animal origin.

4. What must import of firearms be supported by?

a) license/certificate; b) health certificate;

c) license/certificate plus a permit; d) permit.

5. What will H.M. Customs do with weapon if a visitor has no permit?

a) obtain; b) limit; c) ban; d) detain.

6. What must be clearly “identified” to be presented to H.M. Customs for clearance?

a) weapons; b) films; c) vegetables; d) animal products.

7. What will ensure that all firearms are quickly and easily identified on arrival?

a) sign; b) license; c) sticker/label; d) certificate.

8. What foodstuffs are not permitted from all countries except the UK?

a) fruits; b) vegetables; c) plants; d) meat and milk products.

9. In what case may all travelers carry a limited quantity of powdered infant milk and food?

a) for personal use; b) for medical reasons;

c) for professional use; d) for commercial activity.

10. Who is subject to rabies control measures?

a) cats and dogs; b) mammals; c) animals; d) Seeing Eye dogs.

Exercise 10.Translate the following terms into Russian. Give your own definition to them (in English) and learn these terms by heart.

1. to purchase; 2. a license; 3. a weapon; 4. a label; 5. foodstuff; 6. decease; 7. a health certificate; 8. an embarkation; 9. a stowage; 10. a brand.


Exercise 11. Write an outline of the text.



Exercise 12.Fill in the table. Add two more categories for comparison.

  Russian Federation United Kingdom

Exercise 13. Fill in the gaps using the words given below, and translate the sentences into Russian.

commercial use search through passengers

declare dangerous goods permission

veterinarian health subject to tax

prohibitions and restrictions

1. The aim of … is the protection of society and the perpetuation of a safe environment. 2. The following are lists of prohibitions and restrictions, which … may carry with them. 3. If you have more than $ 3000, you need to … it, so when you leave the country you can prove you’re not taking the money out of Russia. 4. If you bring in the items that you can prove are for your personal use and you are going to take them back with you when you leave Russia, you don’t need to pay any … . 5. If you bring in more than one item the customs officers may consider that these items are for …, they may oblige you to pay a tax. 6. The Russian customs is generally quite relaxed, so it is very unlikely somebody will … your bags or try to tax everything you have. 7. The … are listed in nine hazard classes. 8. Cats, dogs and birds must be accompanied by: … bearing seal of local Board of Health. 9. You can take home only US $ 3000 (or equivalent in other countries) without any … . 10. Almost any product … tax and duties being sent to a private individual in Russia will be held and inspected by customs.

Exercise 14. Replace the underlined words with the synonymous terms from the texts.

1. He had gone out before the formal ceremonies begun. 2. We would like also to pay tribute to the worthy efforts of the former Chairman of the Committee. 3. If competition is restricted, high growth and surplus revenue can last for much longer. 4. Don’t forget to sign the circular letter of credit/circular cheque when you get home. 5. Securing Business model is inforce for 10 years. 6. He avoided the real issues in his report. 7. Since 1996, NATO forces have taken in custody/seized and transferred to the jurisdiction of the ICTY in Hague some 40 people indicted for war crimes. 8. While Nazi industry produced immense amount of arms, Fuehrer’s agents in other countries campaigned against rearmament. 9. Contracts to sell foreign exchange to nonresidents continued to dominate in the structure of Russian banks’ currency forward contracts with non-residents. 10. All high value goods/baggage will be kept in containers.


Exercise 15.a)Match the verbs on the left with the nouns on the right.

1. to pass a) customs tax;
2. to deal b) the weapon;
3. to incur c) for clearance;
4. to obtain d) through red channel;
5. to get e) as a baggage;
6. to detain f) with unnecessary paper work;
7. to carry g) a limited quantity;
8. to be accompanied h) an official paper;
9. to be presented i) by boarding documents;
10. to ship j) the special permission.

b) In the sentences below replace the Russian expressions with the phrases you have got. Use these expressions in the necessary form.

1. To avoid (работы с ненужными документами) always learn the items for the declaration before the trip. 2. If you want to import weapons or ammunition you must do so through a licensed importer or dealer otherwise the customs officer (возьмет под стражу оружие) and agencies. 3. A buyer from a country inside the EU (понесет таможенные пошлины и налог на импорт) when importing an item purchased in a country that lies outside the EU. 4. Passenger with dutiable goods should (пройти через красный коридор). 5. The sealed declaration must (быть представлена во время оформления) of unaccompanied goods. 6. Many airlines require a veterinarian’s certificate before they accept a dog to (для перевозки в качестве багажа). 7. Restricted means that you must (получить специальное разрешение) from a federal agency. 8. Now you may (провозить ограниченное количество) of liquid on aircraft. 9. You may import an object made of ivory if it is an antique (at least 100 years old) but you will need to (получить официальный документ) about the age of ivory. 10. All animals must (сопровождаться документами на посадку).



Exercise 16.Write an essay on one of the given topics and discuss it with your partner.

1. Prohibitions and Restrictions in the USA.

2. The Reasons for Prohibitions and Restrictions (general).


Exercise 17.Translate the following sentences from Russian into English.

1. Не существует ограничений на количество вещей, которые вы можете привезти с собой, при условии, что они предназначены для личного пользования. 2. Собаки без сопровождающего свидетельства о прививке против бешенства могут перевозиться, если импортер заключит соглашение об изоляции животного. 3. В США импорт, экспорт, рассылка, транспортировка или продажа продуктов, содержащих мех кошек и собак незаконна. 4. Многие страны не позволят ввезти огнестрельное оружие, даже если вы находитесь в стране проездом на пути к пункту назначения. 5. Почти все автомобили, фургоны, спортивные автомобили, которые были приобретены в зарубежных странах, должны быть модернизированы в соответствии с американскими стандартами. 6. Целью запретов и ограничений является защита общества и сохранение безопасности окружающей среды. 7. Ему было отказано во въезде в страну, так как у него в сумке нашли наркотики. 8. Вывоз предметов культурного значения ограничен постановлением Европейского Совета. 9. Во избежание террористических актов провоз острых предметов на борту самолета запрещен. 10. Все огнестрельное оружие должно быть упаковано отдельно от боеприпасов.



Everyone knows about road traffic signs like street signs, safety signs and federal regulations. So as a customs officer you are going to create customs signs to illustrate import/export prohibitions and restrictions. Create your own customs sign for everyone to understand and obey it.

Unit 6.


Warm up

Exercise 1.As you know letter-writing is an essential part of any business. Do you like to write letters or do you prefer just to call? Do you think the writing of letters still exists or has sending emails replaced letter-writing?

Exercise 2.Match the English words on the left with their Russian equivalents on the right. Learn the words by heart.

1. a commercial business letter a) обращение (Mr., Mrs., Ms.);
2. business letter style b) сопроводительные документы;
3. a letterhead c) приветствие;
4. a personal title d) печатный заголовок/бланк;
5. a block e) инициалы машинистки;
6. a closing paragraph f) клише;
7. a salutation g) стиль делового письма;
8. enclosures h) начинать с прописной буквы.
9. typist initials i) деловое письмо;
10. to capitalize j) заключительный параграф.


Exercise 3.Read and translate the following text. Use the dictionary when necessary.

Writing Business Letter

A commercial business letter is a letter written in formal language, usually used when writing from one business organization to another, or for correspondence between such organizations and their customers, clients and other external parties. The overall style of a letter will depend on the relationship between the parties concerned. There are many reasons to write a business letter. It could be to request direct information or action from another party, to order supplies from a supplier, to identify a mistake that was committed, to reply directly to a request, to apologize for a wrong or simply to convey goodwill. Even today, the business letter is still very useful because it produces a permanent record, is confidential, formal and delivers persuasive, well-considered messages. A business letter is more formal than a personal letter. There are several parts of a business letter.

The sender’s address is usually included in letterhead. If you are not using letterhead, include the sender’s address at the top of the letter one line above the date. Do not write the sender’s name or title, as it is included in the letter’s closing. Include only the street address, city, and zip code.

The date line is used to indicate the date the letter was written. However, if your letter is completed over a number of days, use the date it was finished in the date line. When writing to companies within the United States, use the American date format (For example: June 11, 2001). Write out the month, day and year two inches from the top of the page.

The inside address is the recipient’s address. It is always best to write to a specific individual at the firm to which you are writing. If you do not have the person’s name, do some research by calling the company or speaking with employees from the company. Include a personal title such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr. Follow a woman’s preference in being addressed as Miss, Mrs., or Ms. Usually, people will not mind being addressed by a higher title than they actually possess. To write the address, use the U.S. Post Office Format. For international addresses, type the name of the country in all-capital letters on the last line. The inside address begins one line below the sender’s address or one inch below the date. It should be left justified.

Salutation.Use the same name as the inside address, including the personal title. If you know the person and typically address them by their first name, it is acceptable to use only the first name in the salutation (for example: Dear Lucy). In all other cases, however, use the personal title and full name followed by a colon. Leave one line blank after the salutation.

If you don’t know a reader’s gender, use a nonsexist salutation, such as “To Whom It May Concern.” It is also acceptable to use the full name in a salutation if you cannot determine gender. For example, you might write Dear Chris Harmon: if you were unsure of Chris’s gender.

Body.For block and modified block formats, single space and left justify each paragraph within the body of the letter. Leave a blank line between each paragraph. When writing a business letter, be careful to remember that conciseness is very important. In the first paragraph, consider a friendly opening and then a statement of the main point. The next paragraph should begin justifying the importance of the main point. In the next few paragraphs, continue justification with background information and supporting details. The closing paragraph should restate the purpose of the letter and, in some cases, request some type of action.

The closing begins at the same vertical point as the date and one line after the last body paragraph. Capitalize the first word only (for example: Thank you) and leave four lines between the closing and the sender’s name for a signature.

Enclosures. If you have enclosed any documents along with the letter, such as a resume, you indicate this simply by typing Enclosures one line below the closing. As an option, you may list the name of each document you are including in the envelope.

Typist initials are used to indicate the person who typed the letter. If you typed the letter yourself, omit the typist initials.

Exercise 4.Consult the text and find the English equivalents to the following word combinations.

1. деловой стиль; 2. прямая информация; 3. передать благодарность/выразить признательность; 4. аргументированные сообщения; 5. формат даты; 6. адрес получателя; 7. адрес отправителя; 8. оставить пустую строку; 9. выравнивать текст по левому полю; 10. обосновать/подтвердить важность.

Exercise 5.Decide whether the following statements are true or false. Correct the false ones.

1. It’s not necessary to indicate about enclosed documents along with the letter. 2. It’s not polite to restate the purpose of the letter in the closing paragraph. 3. You can use the full name in a salutation if you don’t know a reader’s gender. 4. You should always use the American date format and write out the month, day and year. 5. If you are not sure of woman’s preference in being addressed, use Ms.

Exercise 6.Answer the following questions. Use the text when necessary.

1. What will the overall style of a letter depend on? 2. What should you do if you aren’t using letterhead? 3. What date should you use in your letter? 4. Who is it best to write at the firm to? 5. How should you type the name of the country for international addresses? 6. Is it possible to write a letter if you don’t know reader’s name and gender? 7. What should you write in the first paragraph? 8. What is used to indicate the person who typed the letter? 9. What is the inside address? 10. What are the reasons to write a business letter?


Exercise 7.Give a short summary of the text.

Exercise 8.Now read and translate the text about Tips and Tricks for Better Letter. Use the dictionary when necessary.

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