Russia: Items To Declare At Border, Weapon, including cold steel, ammunition and explosives!


I was thinking this morning over a cup of coffee about what could Americans use for rules and regulations coming into Russia. I guess that you can use the source that I have used and crossed borders with. LINK….

I am printing this to help anyone else from having to go through what Pastor Phillip Miles has gone through. I am also printing this because many people have exclaimed that there are no rules for crossing the Russian Border and that Russian is not helpful to Americans with their English Language. So here you have in English on a Russian Website the Rules of Border crossing.

Admission of individuals, vehicles, cargo, goods and animals is carried out in checkpoints set by the Government of the Russian Federation. Admission is either acknowledgment of lawful arrival to Russia via the State border as well as import of cargo, goods and animals or permission to cross the border leaving the country as well as to export items mentioned above.
Legal foundations for admission are valid travel documents for individuals and appropriate documents for vehicles, cargo, goods and animals.
Basic elements of admission check are border guard/immigration, customs, health, phytosanitary and veterinary.

The documents one needs to pass through border control normally are valid passport or equal travel document if accepted under international treaties, and Russian visa (for aliens only).
Alien and/or stateless persons are required to fill in a migration card.

* Citizens of Russia entering the country are to produce Russian passports. Still in case of loss or damage to the passport, other reliable proof of Russian citizenship is enough to enter.
* For Russian citizens under 14 to travel to some of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, birth and citizenship certificates can be produced instead of passports.
* Russian minors under 18 years, leaving the Russian Federation and travel-ling without neither parents nor other wardship, are required to hold a parental authorization letter in the Russian language and notarized by a lawyer, stating that the minor is permitted to leave the Russian Federation.

A simplified set of travel documents necessary to enter Russia may be stated by an international treaty. For example, most air companies crewmembers are not required to produce neither passport nor visa but for ICAO-established identities along with the flight’s General Declaration.

A right of some individuals to travel via Russian borders can be restricted in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Aliens previously expelled from Russia for offences cannot enter the country since one year since the date of expulsion.
To travel abroad, a Russian citizen sentenced incapable by a court of law must be accompanied by a tutorial guardianship to provide security for both the incapable and people around.
Unadmissable foreigners are those forbidden to enter Russia in cases set by the law i.e.

* improper travel documents,
* AIDS/HIV-infection,
* convictions for felonies or misdemeanors,
* unlawful pursuits of entry,
* fraudulent presentation of personal or other travel information,
* security risk.

A person, no matter national, foreign or stateless, may occur a subject of restriction to leave Russia if appropriate legal grounds exist i.e.

* a citizen has been privy to the information constituting state secrets
* criminal or civil proceedings have been instituted against a person
* a person has received a court’ sentence for having committed a crime
* a citizen has resorted to fraudulent representation
* a citizen is drafted to military service
* a person evades from the fulfillment of obligations imposed by a court of law.

Normally, the restrictions are active until the circumstances preventing the citizen’s exit cease to be in effect.

Non-compliance with the entry or transit regulations may result in fines for both carrier and passenger and either deportation by same airline on first available flight or indefinite delay for passenger at point of entry. If carrier can prove that at boarding point passenger had proper documents to enter or to transit the territory of Russian Federation, the passenger may be fined.

Required, except for holders of:

* Laissez Passer issued by the United Nations and/or other countries, provided
holding entry documents and confirmed tickets for a country outside Russian
* ICAO crew member identities, if provided by international treaties. Additionally a General Declaration is required.
* Seaman Book, provided traveling on du-ty.
* Documents for stateless persons and ref-ugees, issued by country in which they reside.

Passports/equal papers and visas must be valid for period of intended stay.
Russian Federation issues its own national passport. The passports issued by Russian Federation using blanks of the former U.S.S.R. documents are valid until expiry date shown in the passports.

Required for citizens of most countries.
Please ask your airline or travel agent for details.


* Normally issued prior to arrival by embassies/consulates of Russian Federation abroad.
* Beyond Russia, applicants must submit an invitation from friends, relatives or business/study relations, validated by local Russian authorities.
* Passengers exceeding a stay of 3 months should present an Aids Test Certificate together with a visa ap-plication form to the consular department or embassy of the Russian Federation. Fraudulent representation causes refusal or, if revealed in the port of entry, fines and deportation.


* Those continuing their journey to a third country within 24 hours provided holding confirmed onward tickets and all documents required for next destination. Leaving the transit area is not allowed. If transiting via St. Petersburg – Pulkovo airport passenger must arrive and depart on the same day between 07.00 a.m. and 10.00 p m. Passenger needs a transit visa if switching between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
* If transiting via Moscow – Sheremetyevo airport and staying longer than 24 hours. obtaining the transit visa prior to arrival is required Hotel accommodation is available at Sheremetyevo Moscow airport.
* Stateless persons and refugees can only transit without visa if they transit within 24 hours.
* Nationals of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Poland, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep. holding normal passports and airplane tickets, enjoy 72-hours transit without visa.
* Passengers transiting Russian Fed. and continuing to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bela-rus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine or Uzbekistan must:
o hold visa and all other required documents for next destination, and either
o hold visa for entry Russian Fed. prior to arrival, or
o obtain visa on arrival. A 24 hours transit visa can be obtained on providing air ticket and visa, if necessary, to the point of final destination

However, obtaining the transit visa prior to arrival is strongly recommended, as visa issue on arrival can cause consider-able delay.

Must travel on duty and hold Letter of Guarantee of shipping compa-ny.

* Arriving by air to board ship, or arriving by ship to board aircraft.
* Visa not required if nationality of seaman is Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Poland, Ro-mania, Slovak Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Yugoslavia Fed. Rep.;
* Direct transit to abroad: visa not re-quired if nationality of seaman is listed above; all other nationalities if continuing to a third country by same aircraft without leaving the airport.

Same regulations as for passengers apply.

All alien persons entering Russia are to fill in an immigration form to produce one to the passport control. It is strongly recommended to do the form before passport control in block Lain letters. The blanks are available onboard your aircraft. Please ask your airline flight attendant for help to do the form properly.
Upon departure, the B section of the immigration form must be produced to the passport control.
Please see chapter MIGRATION CONTROL PROCEDURE for details.


* In cases when alien’s documents produced to enter Russia are lost or missing, temporary travel documents for exit must be issued to the alien by embassy/consulate of the country one belongs/resides. Besides, Russian exit visa must be obtained.
* Visas obtained in Sheremetyevo airport are valid for single entry only. They must be used within the periods and via the check points as indicated therein;
* Passengers holding tourist visas must also hold hotel vouchers.
* All passengers staying longer than 3 days in the Russian Federation must register their passports and visas through their hotel or sponsor.
* Passengers visiting relatives must regis-ter with local police upon arrival and have registration entered in their visa. If stay-ing in a hotel, this will be arranged by the hotel.
* If holding visa, return/onward tickets are not required. If holding transit visa it is
also required to hold onward tickets and documents required for next destination.
* To register with local police, taxes are to be paid for each day for each day in Moscow. Taxation rates are approx. USD 3.- per day but subject to change. Tax has to be paid upon check in at the hotel. If duration of stay is unknown tax has to be paid upon check out.

Carried out by Customs personnel.

Please mind the customs update information available either at panels before customs line or by phone (+7 095) 578-21-20.

By persons of 16 years and older

* 1000 cigarettes or 1000 grammes of tobacco products.
* 1 1/2 litres of alcoholic beverages and 2 liters of wine.
* a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use.
* Residents: goods up to an amount of USD 10,000.- for personal use only.
Non-residents: goods up to an amount of USD 10,000.-.
* Currency: unlimited (please see CURRENCY chapters).

Photographs and printed matter directed against Russian Federation or health and moral of population therein, military arms and ammunition, narcotics (opium, hashish, etc.), fruit and vegetables.

‘Goods to declare’ passage channels are to be taken for the cases of possession:

* unattended baggage sent separately and/or by other plane or vehicle;
* securities;
* precious metals an/or stones, except for jewelry previously imported as personal effects. Precious metals are gold, silver, platinum as well as metals of platinum origin but for jewelry or scrap of one made of metals mentioned above. Precious stones are diamonds both rough and cut, rubies, sapphires, alexandrite and pearls;
* weapon, including cold steel, ammunition and explosives;
* narcotic and/or psychotropic substances and other similar substances;
* objects d’art and antiques, i.e. paintings/watercolors, sculptures, coins, award orders/medals, postage stamps and other items of artistic, historical, scientific and/or other value;
* poisonous and/or contaminative substances as well as medicines with strong soporific and/or anaesthetic effect;
* radioactive matters;
* endangered species of wild fauna and flora, parts and products thereof;
* radio facilities and high-frequency devices using frequencies higher than 9 KHz, including both transmitters and receivers, i.e. telephones, radio stations, radio navigation systems, radio direction finders, cable TV systems and other similar devices;
* printed matters, negative and exposed films, photographic negatives and prints, video programs containing information constituting either state secrets or war, fascism, ethnical/religious intolerance propaganda or pornography;
* goods exceeding quantity/quality/value duty-free quotas set by legislation of the Russian Federation;
* goods for commercial and/or industrial purposes.

Persons, including those moving abroad to a new abode, are allowed to export goods under the value of $ 10,000 duty and tax free except those for commercial and/or industrial use. The exportation can be done in either way including postage. A simplified customs procedure of the exportation is provided.

Individual residents are allowed to export foreign currencies in a lump cash sum, if the total value of $ 10,000 not exceeded. Given this, no documentary confirmation of previous import, postage or transfer required.
No declaration required for residents exporting foreign currencies of a total value not more than $ 3,000 in a lump cash sum. Given the cash value exceeding, a declaration in written form must be done.

Please mind the written declaration must be done by filling in the form and walking through the red channel. The form blanks are available in most world spread languages on desks before customs lines.

No declaration required for credit cards of any value, no matter resident or not.

Individual non-residents are allowed to export foreign currencies in a lump cash sum, if the total value of $ 10,000 not exceeded. Given this, no documentary confirmation of previous import, postage, transfer or purchase required. Besides the sum, previously imported foreign currency can be exported by individual non-residents if properly confirmed. The confirmation is the entry customs declaration with imported sum written in and stamped by a customs official.

To declare currency upon entry, written declaration must be done and the red channel chosen. The form blanks are available on desks before customs lines as well.

Export of foreign currencies in a lump cash sum exceeding the total value of $ 10,000 by individual non-residents is not allowed. The restriction is not active regarding the currency previously imported and properly confirmed in the customs declaration.
No declaration required for individual non-residents exporting foreign currencies of a total value not more than $ 3,000 in a lump cash sum. Given the cash value exceeding, a declaration in written form must be done.

Russian currency (Russian rubles) of a value not exceeding 500 guaranteed minimum wages, i.e. RR 50,000 for today is allowed for export in a lump cash sum.
Foreign currency traveler’s cheques, no face value restricted, can be exported on producing a certificate either form 0406007 issued by a Russian authorized bank or other appropriate form issued by the customs upon entry.

While importing traveler’s cheques, written declaration is recommended in order to avoid ones’ export hindrance.

No official copy of the customs declaration can be issued in case of loss or damage.


Green channels are to be taken for free entry customs formalities for cases listed below:

* no unattended baggage sent separately by neither other plane nor vehicle;
* no forbidden/restricted items in the baggage attended by owner;
* goods imported by individual residents not exceed both the value of $ 1,000 and weight of 50 kilograms (approx.110 1/4 lbs).

Goods exceeding the quotas are liable to customs tax and duty at a common rate of 30 % of value estimated by the customs still not less than ? 4 per kilogram (approx. 2 1/5 lbs).

Individual residents with period of staying abroad over 6 months are allowed to import goods of a value up to $ 5,000 duty and tax free, no matter attended or not.

* a total amount of Russian currency (Russian Roubles) in possession not exceed the value of 500 guaranteed minimum wages, i.e. RR 50,000 for today;
* no foreign currency in possession to be exported afterwards;
* currency in cash not exceeding the total value of $ 10,000;

No limits set for amount of foreign currency in cash to be imported. Either individual no matter resident or not is allowed to do so by declaring the sum at the customs.
Foreign currency imported by a legal entity is a subject of the common customs procedure, including cargo bill of entry in production.

Duty must be paid if following quotas are exceeded: 2 liters of liquors per person older than 21; 400 pieces of tobacco items, i.e. cigars, cigarillos, cigarettes, per person reached age of 18; 250 grams of sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, per person.

Import/export license required for goods liable to regulation of some official authorities, i.e. Ministry of Interior for weapon, Ministry of Culture for objects d’art and antiques, Ministry of agriculture for plants and animals as well as products thereof. Please mind tables below.

Individual non-residents are allowed to temporarily import goods they need for private use while in Russia duty and tax free. The goods must be declared upon initial entry. The goods imported temporarily can not be neither alienated/sold/gifted nor given at alien use/possession/disposal.
Surplus goods over the quotas are subject of common tariff and/or non-tariff regulation provided for foreign trade as well as taxation.
If goods declared or revealed to be imported for industrial/commercial purposes, either cargo bill of entry in is to be issued or goods to be detained until exported beyond the Russian Federation.

Arriving non-residents intending to export foreign currency afterwards, are to declare currency upon entry. To do so, written declaration must be done and the red channel chosen.

Violation of the customs rules will be prosecuted in compliance with the law of the Russian Federation, i.e. the Customs Code except cases provided either by the Code of administrative misdemeanors or by the Criminal Code.
If a disagreement against a customs act appeared, whether regarding value of goods or not, an application can be done as it is set by the Customs Code, part XIII. To consider the appeal, an expert examination of goods can be set by a customs higher authority. The cost of the examination is to be paid by goods owner/handler.

Goods type Authority and permission required to export
Firearms and cold steel, ammunition ‘Permission to export’, police local stations
Sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, exceeding 250 grams per person. Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
All kinds of sturgeon fish and products thereof Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
Cultural values, incl. all kinds of collection, paintings/watercolors, icons, musical instruments, items made 50 years ago and older, etc. ‘Certificate’ issued by Ministry of Culture local offices or bill of entry in, form TD-6, issued by the customs.

Goods type Authority and permission required for admission
Firearms and cold steel, ammunition ‘Permission to import’, police local stations
Radio devices, i.e. radiotelephones, radio stations, satellite communication systems etc., except for commercial hand phones. ‘Permission’ issued by State communication surveillance authority local offices.
Sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, exceeding 250 grams per person. Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
All kinds of sturgeon fish and products thereof Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.

Please mind the figures are subjects to change

Carried out by Border Quarantine Inspection personnel subordinate to the Ministry of Health.
Normally no vaccinations are required to enter Russia from any country.

Passengers exceeding a stay of 3 months in Russia should present an AIDS Test Certificate together with a visa application form to the consular department or embassy of the Russian Federation.

Live animals are subject to special permit.
Pets i.e. cats, dogs and other animals, birds (except pigeons) and fish must be accompanied by veterinarian health certificate bearing seal of local Board of Health and issued no more than ten days prior to arrival. Pigeons are prohibited entry.

Generally pets are not permitted in hotels.

Fruit and vegetables are prohibited.

Random, upon arrival for refugees and foreigners seeking permanent abode in Russia only.
Carried out by Immigration Control points subordinate to the Ministry of Interior.

No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.

Here is what the American Government says about breaking the law in Russia:
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Russian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Russia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

So read and learn, crossing into another country is an experience that many Americans never understand. (Mexico & Canada not included!)

There is a saying in America, “Do not ASSUME, for ……….”

Kyle & Svet

Subscribe in a reader

About the Author