This guide was written prior to Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine and is therefore not reflective of the current situation. Travel to Russia is currently not advisable due to the area's volatile political situation.
Relocating to another country holds many challenges, especially in deciding if it's worth shipping goods over or not. Shipping to Russia can hold many challenges.
Expats are highly recommended to seek an international shipping and removals company that can grant them door-to-door service. Relocation companies offer a full spectrum of mobility needs to expats, individuals and companies. Rather than simply transporting goods, they help orientate new arrivals. See our list of relocation companies in Russia that can help smoothen the transition.
Be sure about shipping to Russia
Expats should think carefully about what they want to bring with them and what they can afford to leave behind. Shipping to Russia can quickly become expensive and custom clearance procedures are known to change frequently and without notice. Keep in mind that accommodation often comes furnished in Russia and plenty of large home decor and household furnishing stores can be found in most of the major cities. So expats should be sure if shipping to Russia is the right option for them.
Shipping household goods to Russia
Whether choosing air shipping or surface shipping, expats will need to make a comprehensive packing inventory of all shipped items. Note and photograph items of value, this includes computers, TVs and appliances. Record the serial number, brand and model number of any electronics in this inventory.
Expats will need to supply their international moving company with the appropriate documents to allow them to assume customs clearance on their behalf.
Expats should be well-informed and aware of the details in the contract with the moving company. The contract may specify certain details of insurance and the expected time of arrival of the goods to the destination. Customs charges may apply to some goods, which is where the advice of the moving company will be useful.
Shipping cars to Russia
Many expats are encouraged to buy a car in Russia rather than shipping one's car in. This is because shipping vehicles to Russia is expensive with a hefty import tax on top of value-added tax. You could end up paying up to 55 percent of the price of the car just to ship it to Russia. That said, tax rates and specific documentation required are subject to change, and so expats should check the governmental custom's page. Relocations companies can provide advice and assist with shipping vehicles to Russia, making the process much easier.
Public transport networks in big Russian cities are well developed and there are many options for getting around in Russia. So expats should consider if bringing a car into the country is worth it or not, depending on their needs.
Shipping pets to Russia
If importing a dog or cat to Russia, expats will need to make sure they have the proper documentation at the time of shipment. Pets are often required to be microchipped and have up-to-date vaccines, including a rabies vaccine, and health certificates and documents.
Expats interested in shipping their pets to Russia are often discouraged from doing so. Most Russian living is done in small apartments rather than houses with outdoor space, so it’s important expats evaluate whether their accommodation is indeed pet-friendly.
Are you an expat living in Russia?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Russia. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.