Legal market participants expected that lowering the duty-free threshold from 1,000 euros (with a weight not exceeding 31 kg per person) to 150 euros (with a weight not exceeding 10 kg) will give them an advantage in comparison with cross-borders. Earlier, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Industry have prepared the relevant amendments to the law, but the government has blocked them.
Lowering the threshold for duty-free trade will hurt competition
"Apparently, just because of the devaluation and expectations of a decline in online trading, particularly with regard to the purchase of goods in foreign online stores, the decision was accepted to postpone these measures", commented on the situation Tatiana Radchenko, Head of the Directorate for Competition Policy of the Analytical Center, in the interview to "Expert Online". However requests for goods from Kazakhstan rose sharply in December due to the difference of the ruble and the tenge against major world currencies, according to the expert. "Processing companies UCS and ChronoPay have recorded an increase in demand from foreign buyers, mainly from Kazakhstan, Armenia, China and Belarus, amid falling ruble. In addition, we believe that the lowering the duty-free threshold is bad for competition", said Ms. Radchenko.
For more information on the regulation of e-commerce in Russia, see the Bulletin of the development of competition prepared by experts of the Analytical Center.