Importing a Vehicle to Russia

Find out how to import a car to Russia and get it registered on the roads for temporary or permanent personal use…

Importing a car to Russia can be very expensive. For a car to be used for private permanent or commercial use, tax-free imports are only possible for foreign diplomatic employees, in which case it can be economically viable to import a vehicle. For all other groups, it is usually better practice to buy a car in Russia. Alternatively, customs brokers can assist with the process of importing a car, for a fee.

Charges payable upon entry for private permanent or commercial use include approximately 25 percent of the vehicle’s value as an import tax, to be paid at customs before entering the country, along with value-added tax (VAT) of approximately 20 percent of the value of the vehicle.

It is also possible to bring a vehicle into Russia for temporary use. While this method does not incur import charges, it does require payment of customs duties in addition to usage fees, which can make it uneconomical. Also, the red tape getting a vehicle through customs can be time-consuming and laborious. More details can be found in the Temporary Permit to Drive an Imported Vehicle section below.

  • For the website of the Federal Customs Service (Federalnaya tamozhennaya sluzhba - FTS / ??????????? ?????????? ?????? - ???): Click here
  • For a customs duties calculator plus an online database and further information about importing vehicles: Click here (in Russian)
  • For details of local custom offices from the Central Customs Department (Centralnoe tamozhenoe upravlenye / ??????????? ?????????? ??????????), which has 27 customs houses in 18 regions and the headquarters in Moscow: Click here

Temporary Permit to Drive an Imported Vehicle

In case a foreign national does enter Russia with their own vehicle for a term shorter than six months, the vehicle should be registered at the border in the driver’s customs declaration (Pasazhirskaya Tamozhnaya Deklaratsia / ???????????? ???????? ??????????).

  • For a sample of this form on the customs service website: Click here (in Russian)

The temporary permit is issued at the border free of charge, and includes all the information about the vehicle contained in its registration/technical passport. This is known in Russian as the PTS (???; Pasport Transportnogo Sredstva / ??????? ????????????? ????????). No change to the foreign number plates are required.

In the same declaration, in the field 'For official notes (??? ????????? ???????)', the customs officer should enter the term of validity of this registration (no more than three months, according to the term of validity of the driver’s visa). It can be extended later in the local customs offices to up to one year, but any extension should be done before the permit for temporary import expires and only the owner of the car who filled in the driver’s custom declaration can legally drive the car in Russia.

Leaving Russia with an Imported Car

Upon leaving the country, the driver has to present at the border the customs declaration and the car, in order to be de-registered. This is free of charge.

Registration of a Vehicle ?After Importation

The procedure to register an imported car in Russia is the same as the registration of a vehicle by a new owner. This is done in the local offices of the State Road Traffic Safety Inspectorate (GIBDD), known as MOTOTRER (????????; Mezrayony Otdel Gasudarstvenovo Tehnicheskovo Osmotra Registracy e Exzaminaciony Raboty . ??????????? ????? ???????????????? ???????????? ??????? ??????????? ? ??????????????? ??????).