It was proposed to impose sales tax on overseas online retailers in Russia

Russian association of online retailers (AKIT) has developed new amendments to Russian law. These amendments aim to impose additional tax on online outlets selling goods in Russian marketplace. If the companies, who would be obliged to pay new tax, will not pay this tax, the access to their web-sites, i.e. online trading platforms, will be restricted in Russia by Roskomnadzor at the request of Russian tax service.

New amendments will affect such outlet like AliExpress, Amazon and eBay. Whether such companies will stay in Russian marketplace after implementation of new amendments is good question. From other side these amendments have been developed by Russian outlets, which operate in Russia, pay taxes in Russia and comply with internal Russian law. Overseas outlet are in better position in comparison with Russian online trading platforms. So in order to equate competitive conditions these amendments have been proposed.

The other good question is how new law would be implemented. Under proposed amendments overseas online trading platforms will be obliged to register at the Russian taxation department and pay VAT analogue from their sales. For internet outlets, which provides cross-border delivery of goods the tax rate would be 15,25% from end price of good. Russian tax service will be entitled to require restricting access to web-site of overseas online trader if such trader does not pay new sales tax.

The first level of restriction is online trading platform (if such platform provides different persons with opportunity to trade without necessity to make own separate web-site or online store). The second level of restriction is Russian state authority. When attempt at the first level is unsuccessful, Russian tax service has the right to seek a court order for restriction of access in Russia to online trading platform. Roskomnadzor would be authority responsible for restriction of access under court order. Restricted access is to be unblocked after three days following the payment of tax.