Tourism, Russia opens to tax free shopping for non-EU citizens

Tourists visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg will save up to 18% against a minimum cost of 10,000 rubles (130 euros)
Tourism, Russia opens to tax free shopping for non-EU citizens
19 April 11:13 2018 Print This Article

Tax free system for non-EU citizens visiting Moscow and St. Petersburg. This year, in fact, tourists can save on shopping in Russia receiving VAT refund on purchases of fashion, technology and jewelry, thus saving up to 18% compared to a minimum cost of 10,000 rubles (130 euros). This is the initiative developed by the Russian government to promote tourism before and after the upcoming FIFA World Cup, for the arrival of over a million fans who will reach the capital of the country.

In this context, Premier Tax Free (which operates in the field of multi-currency payment processing and in the management of tax free shoppping services) has recently completed its first tax-free transaction in the Euroasisatic country with the issue of the first electronic tax refund form at a Bosco di Ciliegi Group store in the center of Moscow.

“To realize the size of this new market, one million Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2016 spending US $ 2 billion2,” said Gary Byrne, director of new markets worldwide of the Fintrax Group, parent company of Premier Tax Free. Premier Tax Free was instrumental in launching Tax Free shopping services now available in Russia. After issuing the first electronic form for tax reimbursement, our Iva Premier Online refund system will be gradually made available to all of our active traders in Russia “.

Still on the subject of shopping tourism, the flows of Russian tourists looking for purchases in Europe are also growing strongly. After two years of decline in fact, in 2017 tax free sales to Russian tourists visiting Europe have started to grow again: a phenomenon also favored by the recovery of the value of the ruble within an economic scenario that sees the country emerge – albeit with caution – from a period of recession and which encouraged the increase in spending by Russian citizens.

According to Premier Tax Free data, in Italy the Russians recorded an increase in tax free sales volume of 24% in 2017, a significant percentage compared to the already good 9% growth in tax free sales to this consumer target detected in the whole of Europe.

At the moment the favorite shopping destinations for Russian tourists are: Milan (where in 2017 42% of the total tax-free sales to Russian citizens in Italy), Rome (19%) and Florence (7%). However, 2017 also saw the emergence of other more niche cities such as Rimini, Ischia and Sicily, thanks to the presence of direct flights to these places from Moscow and St. Petersburg, as evidenced by the latest joint report of the 2017 Enit embassies-consulates on Tourism Russian In Italy.

With a percentage of 11% of the entire volume of tax free sales and an average receipt of 861 euros, the Russians ranked second in Italy in terms of purchases of luxury goods, after the Chinese (27%) and before the Americans (10%).

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Nicole Volpe
Nicole Volpe

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