Russia Market Entry
- Market entry
- Forms and conditions of operation on the market
- Marketing and Communications
- Issues of intellectual property protection
- Public procurement market
- Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
- Visas, fees, specific conditions of travel to the territory
- Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
- Fairs and events
The basic law that regulates business in the territory of the Russian Federation is a norm with a somewhat misleading title “On the development of small and medium-sized enterprises of 2007 (FZ-209). Since then, it has been amended many times, so entrepreneurs must make sure that they are working with a truly up-to-date version of the law for their needs. Russian legislation is very confusing and complex. Many ministries implement sectoral or regional development policies that are based on special, for specific purposes adopted standards. The laws that seek to support one of the economically or climatically disadvantaged regions are especially important. This is most often done by increasing the allocated subsidies or, on the contrary, relief from the payment of certain fees and taxes. Taxes, for example, are constantly changing for companies extracting mineral resources in climatically difficult areas, Among the sectors with increased tariffs, we can mention, for example, metallurgy, grain cultivation and the production of motor gasoline. In these fields, the government strives to make the domestic market more attractive, because in the current economic situation it is profitable for many manufacturers to export their goods at the expense of supplying the domestic market. Monitoring these changes is one of the main challenges for foreign entrepreneurs, e.g. from the EU, who are used to greater stability and less frequent legislative changes. Check smber for agriculture and fishing facts of Russia.
When importing goods to Russia from the Czech Republic, the basic standard for customs clearance is the Act “On Customs Regulation in the Russian Federation and Changes in Individual Legal Acts of the Russian Federation” from 2018. This Act responded to the new customs tariff of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) from 1. January 2018. Russia is a member of this union together with Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Similar to the European Union, trade rules and technical standards are gradually being harmonised. EAES member countries provide themselves with some advantages that are unavailable to companies from non-member countries. Probably the most important is the possibility to participate in public tenders in Russia, which is often not allowed to foreign companies or they are at a disadvantage compared to companies from the EAES. From the point of view of Czech companies, this is particularly relevant in the case of Belarus, where Czech investors own several manufacturing enterprises. These companies can participate in Russian public tenders under the same conditions as domestic Russian companies.
The most common way to enter the Russian market is to find a person interested in goods or services, or those interested in representation, distribution (exclusive / non-exclusive), cooperation in general, from whom, however, the Russian partner usually expects unilateral benefits. The local market is difficult to process remotely. Due to the need to provide the necessary range of services that can hardly be secured from abroad, it is therefore almost necessary to have a strong own (subsidiary company or representation) or mediated representation (a Russian natural or legal person) that fully promotes the company on the market and acts actively according to market requirements and the current situation.
The distribution network in the Russian Federation does not fundamentally differ from European practices. Large distribution centers, chains of wholesalers, supermarkets, etc. operate on the Russian market.
In many sectors, such as engineering, deals are often made on the basis of traditional and personal ties. Many representatives of Czech companies work with clients from the time of their previous work (spare parts for previously sold machines and new contracts obtained on the basis of good experience with Czech goods). Nevertheless, it is necessary to expect great competition, especially from the Chinese and German engineering industry.
The coronavirus pandemic and the size of the country make Russia one of the fastest growing markets for online sales of goods. The largest Russian e-shop is Wildberries, others are, for example, Ozon or Beru. There are also specialized companies that help manufacturers with the creation and implementation of an online business strategy. The best-known company with this focus is Upmarket (https://www.upmarket.cc).
The promotion of Czech goods in Russian regions is helped, among other things, by the pro-export actions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic, or the Chamber of Commerce of the Czech Republic and the PaulTrade agency. Business missions to Russian regions organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Moscow or the Consulates General in St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg have an irreplaceable place in the development of regional cooperation, i.e. in “opening doors” to Czech manufacturers and exporters. The SNS Chamber also operates.
Where possible and economically advantageous, it is recommended to consider transferring production or at least part of it to Russia.
Some industries are largely controlled by nationals of the Russian Federation. In such a case, it is worth taking the time to understand the hierarchy of this community.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic launched the Export Client Center and prepared a catalog of export services that it provides to Czech companies in all areas of jurisdiction of Czech embassies.
Forms and conditions of operation on the market
A foreign company can do business in the Russian Federation through participation in a Russian legal entity as – a limited liability company (OOO – obščestvo s obščestvo s otvětšvennostju) – a closed joint-stock company (ZAO – zakrytoje aksioněrnoje obščestvo) – an open joint-stock company (OAO – otkrytoje aksioněrnoje obščestvo)
or as branch, subsidiary office or representative office. A foreign investor, a natural person, can also do business as a sole trader.
When establishing a company in the Russian Federation, it may be appropriate to use the services of law offices (there are also branches of Czech law offices in Moscow, which, among other things, also specialize in this issue). From 1 January 2015, the authority to accredit branches and representative offices, as well as the authority to keep their register, was transferred from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the RF, or from the State Registration Chamber at the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation, to the Federal Tax Service. The 47th Inspectorate of the Federal Tax Service (Tax Inspectorate) located at Dolgorukovaya 33, Building 1, is responsible for the exercise of this authority. These services are subject to a fee, in May 2020 this service cost 120 thousand rubles.
In the unified state register of taxpayers, which is published on the website of the Federal Tax Service (www.nalog.ru), it is possible to search by company name or by registration number. Compared to the internet version of the Czech register, however, this information is very limited.
Český dům Moskva provides exceptional conditions and assistance in setting up a representation of Czech companies in Moscow, which can provide not only offices but also apartments for starting sales representatives and is ready to help with the necessary administration.
Czech companies with European or even global operations increasingly treat Russia not as a separate market, but as part of a larger region, e.g. EMEA. Sometimes Moscow serves as a hub for the implementation of deals in other countries as well. In such a case, we point out the need for careful accounting, tax and personnel planning, as Russian laws are not very benevolent regarding the transfer of money and people between different jurisdictions. Executives of Czech companies should be equipped with the so-called status of highly qualified specialist, which will facilitate their negotiations with the Russian authorities.
Marketing and communication
The costs of advertising in the Russian mass media (HSP) are high, which is why Czech companies do not use this method of promotion very much. Among the few TV commercials for Czech products, you can see Škoda cars, Hamé food products produced in Russia, Home Credit financial services and some beers. Given the prevailing profile of Czech sales offices (mainly suppliers of engineering products and other industries), this is also logical. Some companies use the services of professional periodicals, which are focused on a specific market segment and make it possible to reach a specific group of potential customers in the field. It is possible to organize your own presentations independently or with the help of specialized private or state organizations.
Advertising via the Internet is gaining in importance, but the participation of Czech companies in specialized international and regional exhibitions and fairs still remains effective advertising. Local exhibitions and fairs organized with international participation have reached a relatively high level in recent years. The latest products and technologies of companies from all over the world can be seen at renowned exhibition events. However, it is desirable to accept local customs, which means especially communication with potential local customers in the Russian language. Catalogs and other promotional materials should also be in Russian.
Participation of companies in exhibitions or fairs as part of the so-called official participation of the Czech Republic (events with the support of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic and some other ministries, where participating companies are provided with a contribution to the exhibition space) or Joint participation in Specialized exhibitions and fairs abroad – SVV ( personal participation of companies in foreign trade fairs with the use of financial support from European structural funds) are one of the forms of state export support. An overview of these marketing actions for the relevant year is published on the websites of the relevant ministries and the government agency PaulTrade.
Czech companies that are interested in carrying out individual or group presentations or market research in the territory of the RF can contact PaulTrade with their requirements, or one of the many private marketing and consulting agencies implementing custom projects according to the customer’s wishes.
Marketing through social networks (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook) works more in Russia than in the Czech Republic, and there are far more so-called influencers, but of significantly different quality (real ones with knowledge of the matter and would-be influencers and temporary stars). For B2C goods, it is recommended to consider this type of marketing communication, the size of the country and the cheapness of mobile data make it an affordable and effective marketing channel tool.
Humor is recommended to be used in smaller doses. In addition, the Russian perception of humor is different from the Czech one, with far less sensitivity to linguistic and cultural nuances (use of catchphrases, etc.). Therefore, in marketing, use only Russian humor, based on Russian creators of advertising messages.
Issues of intellectual property protection
In the Russian Federation, the Federal Service of Intellectual Property, Patents and Trademarks, official abbreviation “Rospatent” (www.fips.ru), is established, which is subordinate to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation. Rospatent carries out control and supervision in the sphere of legal protection and use of objects of intellectual property, patents and trademarks and the results of intellectual activity that become the subject of economic and civil-law circulation. Rospatent is represented in the World Intellectual Property Organization (www.wipo.org). On January 1, 2008, the 4th part of the Russian Civil Code came into effect, relating in particular to intellectual property rights. Thus, for the first time, a law was introduced into the Russian legal system that comprehensively establishes the conditions for the protection of intellectual property rights and sanctions for their violation.
The law also introduced state accreditation of institutions dealing with the protection of intellectual property rights. The Russian Federation formally recognizes all major international agreements and conventions on the protection of intellectual property, but in practice we often encounter violations of them. This concerns, for example, copyrights to audio and video media, clothing, etc. Local authorities fight this phenomenon with varying degrees of success. Russia is also trying to gain access to modern technologies, especially in strategic areas such as energy, the arms industry, IT and telecommunications, etc. The acquisition of these technologies does not always have to take place legally. Foreign companies also have to reckon with worse law enforcement, especially in cases where they get into a dispute with a Russian state institution or corporation.
Public procurement market
The awarding of contracts financed from public funds is regulated in Russia by two laws, primarily by Law No. 44, dated 1/1/2014, “On the contract system in the sphere of state procurement of goods, works and services for the provision of state and municipal needs”, and further by Law No. 223 “On the purchase of goods, works and services by certain types of legal entities” dated 18/07/2011.”
The sphere of public procurement and procurement for state-owned enterprises in Russia currently in connection with the increasing support of domestic manufacturers, the policy of the so-called.import compensation and the rationalization of budgetary resources is subject to gradual legislative changes and adjustments. The possibilities of operating on the Russian market are further complicated for foreign companies. However, despite the obvious direction of support for domestic industry, Russia will continue to need foreign technologies for its development.
The field of public procurement is governed by Federal Law No. 44-FZ (“Law on the Contracting System in the Field of Public Procurement”) of 04/05/2013. On 01/31/2015 the Government of the Russian Federation adopted Resolution No. 84 regarding measures, or. rules in the area of further support for domestic producers, i.e. a de facto ban on the import of selected items of engineering production. This measure was a follow-up to previously adopted Resolution No. 656 of 14/07/2014. Government Resolution No. 102 of 30/11/2015 introduced restrictions on pharmaceutical and medical production, changes to Federal Act No. 188/2015 included software production and Resolution No. 832 of 22 August 2016 concerns selected food products.
Overall, the public procurement regime includes a number of items of engineering goods that can only be supplied by domestic firms. These are, for example, means of transport for public purposes and construction, mining and communal machinery (buses, trolleybuses, trucks and cars, means of transport for communal purposes, tram wagons, trailers, containers, etc.). Relevant documents with an exact list of items can be found on the website of the Russian government (www.government.ru).
According to the statement of the Russian side, the lists contain items of goods where there are Russian analogues or at least their samples. The measure does not apply to production from member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan). In practice, this means that supplies of the mentioned goods from other countries are currently not possible in the field of public procurement. In addition, preferences of up to 15% of the price may apply to a number of other items (approx. 250 types of goods).
Act No. 44, among other things, expanded the possibilities of selecting a supplier, modified the rules of planning, auditing, monitoring and contractual obligations. In accordance with the law, an electronic form of signature and an electronic form of auctions were introduced. According to Act No. 44, the following forms of supplier selection are possible in the sphere of state contracts:
– Uncompetitive or orders pre-awarded to a single participant. Their maximum value is 600 thousand rubles.
– Competitive, which are implemented through several types of competitions (tenders). In practice, these are open tenders, tenders with limited participation, closed tenders, so-called two-stage tenders, electronic auctions and closed auctions, bidding and quotation procedures. The ongoing changes and corrections regarding Act No. 44 also consist, for example, in the possibility of requiring the parties to the proceedings under certain conditions to locate production etc.
On January 10, 2016, new amendments to the Federal Law on the Contracting System (Federal Law No. 223-FZ “On the Purchase of Goods, Works and Services by Certain Types of Legal Entities” of July 18, 2011, supplemented by Federal Law No. 249-FZ “On changes…” of 13/07/2015).
This established a coordination mechanism for awarding orders for import substitution for the purchase of imported equipment, works and services, carried out within the framework of investment projects with a value of over 10 billion rubles (approx. 130 million USD) implemented by state-owned companies, respectively. legal entities where RF has a share in the share capital of more than 50%, or for investment projects that are implemented as part of state support.
Procurement coordination is carried out through the so-called government commission for import substitution. The Commission assesses the possibilities of replacing imported production with domestic products, or may organize more complex import purchases. If the type of product in question is on the list, access to government budget funds is facilitated for the relevant projects (note: detailed information on the legislation in question, including both lists mentioned above, can be found on the website of the Government of the Russian Federation, www.government.ru).
Proposals for current changes to legislative regulations in the mentioned area can be viewed on the portal www.regulation.gov.ru. Relevant current government resolutions on the given issue can be monitored on the website of the Russian government: www.government.ru. All federal public contracts are concentrated on the federal portal for public procurement – www.zakupki.gov.ru. The portal is managed by MER RF, however, the control activity (of the orderers) is ensured by the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Official registration is required to obtain current information on this portal. Among other things, Internet resources in the Russian Federation are offered by paid or partially public tender portals (e.g. www.rostender.ru, www.torgi.gov.ru, www.komtender.ru, www.bicotender.ru). The portal www.regions.ru is also useful for the issue of tenders directly by individual RF regions
The “third unnecessary” rule
has been in effect since May 2020 under Government Regulation No. 617, according to which, if at least two suppliers from EAEU countries apply for the tender, the foreign bidder is automatically excluded from the tender. There are 617 mainly industrial types of goods on the list of such affected items. If the requested goods are not produced in the territory of the EAEU, it is possible to waive this requirement.
Payment terms, payment ethics and resolution of commercial disputes
Payment transactions take place in principle with the same intentions as in Europe. However, a specific feature associated with the development of the Russian economy is the frequent fluctuations in the exchange rate of the local national currency – the ruble. That is why it is good to hedge against these fluctuations, either with standard banking instruments or by trading directly in foreign currency. However, this carries certain risks, namely the possible insolvency of the partner in the event of a fall in the ruble, or a reduction in the competitiveness of Czech production compared to other products, e.g. from Turkey, China, etc. When paying abroad, Russian companies must submit a contract with a foreign supplier to the bank, often an officially certified one.
The offer of financing and loans is much more limited for Russian SMEs than for large or state-controlled companies. When dealing with SMEs, a thorough check of the partner’s ability to pay or the securing of supplier credit is therefore necessary.
The pandemic has worsened the economic situation of many Russians, to which some retail chains have responded by deciding to freeze prices at least until the end of 2020. This is even in cases where the goods are imported and the price thus depends on the ruble exchange rate, which is gradually falling. Common practice is payment within 60 days (in the case of retail chains). To simplify the payment system, some foreign companies set up their own company branches in Russia, which collect money in rubles and, after conversion, transfer it to the head office of the parent company. However, this solution needs to be carefully considered, because in this case the company is subject to the control of the Russian tax authorities, which is sometimes extremely bureaucratic.
Visas, fees, specific conditions for traveling to the territory
When traveling to the Russian Federation, the passenger must have:
1) a passport or other travel document
2) a valid Russian visa
3) funds for the entire period of stay in the RF or a document proving that the costs associated with the stay in the RF are covered
4) a travel document health insurance on the territory of the RF.
Citizens of the Czech Republic can apply for a Russian visa only at Russian embassies and consulates, or in visa centers. The visa can also be arranged through some CCs in the Czech Republic. However, if the traveler is not a member of a tour organized by such a travel agency, obtaining a visa in this way is not recommended. Especially in the event that the citizen will be accommodated in private, problems arise during registration, as the receiving party is then listed in the visa as a different entity than it is in reality. It is not possible to get a Russian visa at the border crossing.
A voucher from a Russian travel agency or an invitation to visit the Russian Federation verified by the Main Administration for Migration Issues of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation (hereinafter “migration service”) or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation is attached to the visa application. A photo, passport or other travel document and travel health insurance for the entire period of stay in the territory of the Russian Federation must also be submitted to the RF visa application. The travel document must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the stay in the RF (in the case of a short-term visa application).
The price of a tourist visa valid for up to 30 days is CZK 1,020 with a standard processing time (8 – 10 days), or CZK 2,030 for express visas (visa processing within 3 days), and is increased by a visa center fee of CZK 700 (November 2020). Detailed information on individual types of visas and any current/temporary changes in the visa agenda can be found on the website of the Russian Consulate in Prague: https://czech.mid.ru/cs_CZ/pokyny-pro-vyrizeni-viz.
The visa is in the form of a sticker that is stuck in the passport. During the entry passport control, passengers will receive a stamp in their passport with the date of arrival in order to determine the exact number of days of stay in the RF. The number of days may not be exceeded by the RF visitor under any circumstances. They will also receive a so-called migration card, which must be carried with them throughout their stay and when leaving the territory of the RF. For example, it is not possible to register at a hotel without a migration card. If the migration card is lost, the local migration service office will issue a duplicate of it free of charge.
Anyone who travels from the territory of the Russian Federation to one of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States must be equipped with a multiple visa, without which he will not be allowed to return to the territory of the Russian Federation.
The exact details of the visa application will be communicated by the RF embassy, which processes the visa application.
In the Czech Republic it is:
Consular Department of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, Korunovační 34, 160 00 Prague 6 – Bubeneč, phone: +420 233 374 093, fax: + 420 233 371 492, e-mail: [email protected], www.czech.mid.ru. Office hours: Mon – Fri, 09:00 – 12:00. Visa center Spálená 14, 110 00 Prague 1, tel.: tel.: +420 228 880 691. Office hours for submitting applications: Mon – Fri, 09:00 – 15:00, issuance of completed documents: 15:00 – 17:00 00.
Consulate General of the Russian Federation, ul. Hlinky 142b, 603 00 Brno, phone: +420 543 232 157, fax: +420 543 244 429, e-mail: [email protected], www.brno.mid.ru. Office hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, 09:00 – 13:00. Visa center Viennese 995/63. Office hours for submitting applications: 08:00 – 14:00, issue of finished documents: 14:00 – 16:00.
Consulate General of the Russian Federation, ul. Petra Velikého 974/18, 360 01 Karlovy Vary, phone: +420 353 221 325, fax: +420 353 226 261, e-mail: [email protected], www.karlovy-vary. mid.ru. Office hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, 09:00 – 13:00. Visa center TG Masaryk 899/18. Office hours for submitting applications: 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., issuing finished documents: 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
We recommend that you check the validity of office hours before traveling to one of the offices of the Russian Federation in the Czech Republic.
Electronic visa (e-visa)
Starting in 2019, it is possible to apply for a so-called electronic visa (e-visa) to visit the Kaliningrad region and the Leningrad region, including St. Petersburg. It is an alternative to a paper visa. It is necessary to apply for an e-visa a few days before arrival/arrival in Russia. An e-visa can be obtained through a visa agency or electronically directly on the website of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (https://evisa.kdmid.ru/). The e-visa application must be accompanied by a valid passport, digital photograph and health insurance for the entire period of stay in Russia. The e-visa allows movement only in the two mentioned areas. This also applies to transfers at the airport, when, for example, when traveling to St. Petersburg, it is necessary to arrive on a direct flight without a stopover in Moscow.
Restrictions on entry
Foreigners may enter some territorial parts of the Russian Federation only on the basis of a special permit, which must be applied for at the local branch of the border service.
On January 15, 2007, Act No. 109 of the Russian Federation on the migration database of foreigners and stateless persons in the Russian Federation entered into force, which stipulates the obligation to report the address of the place of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation. The receiving party is obliged to report the residence address of a citizen of the Czech Republic in the RF. A citizen of the Czech Republic is obliged to have with him, no later than 7 working days after arriving at the place of accommodation, proof that he has registered the address of the place of residence. Address of the Migration Service Branch in Moscow: 42 Pokrovka St., Moscow (metro Kitaj gorod).
In practice, there are now 2 modes of short-term stay in the RF (on a Russian visa):
Stay in an accommodation facility – a hotel or other organization providing accommodation. Accommodation facilities also include the Czech House at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Moscow. Every accommodation facility in the Russian Federation is obliged to register the citizen of the Czech Republic it has accommodated, regardless of the length of his stay in the Russian Federation or the length of his stay in this facility. The accommodation establishment is obliged to forward the information about the start of the accommodation to the locally relevant branch of the RF migration service together with the required documents within 24 hours at the latest. The accommodation facility must notify the end of the stay by 12:00 the following day at the latest.
Stay elsewhere than in an accommodation facility – the obligation to register the stay of a citizen of the Czech Republic in this case lies with the so-called receiving party. This can only be a natural person with the right of permanent residence on the territory of the RF or a legal entity with whom the citizen of the Czech Republic actually lives or works.
The receiving party cannot be a citizen of the Czech Republic who resides in the RF on a visa or long-term residence permit. The receiving party is obliged to register the arrival of a citizen of the Czech Republic who lives or works with it, only if the stay in the RF exceeds 7 working days. If a citizen of the Czech Republic arrives in the RF for a period of less than 8 working days and is not staying in an accommodation facility, he does not need to be registered anywhere. A citizen of the Czech Republic, on the other hand, must be registered no later than 7 working days after the day of arrival at the place of accommodation. During transit through the territory of the Russian Federation, a citizen does not need to register anywhere. A citizen of the Czech Republic is obliged to present a passport with a Russian visa and a migration card at the accommodation facility, or to the receiving party for the purpose of registration. Accommodation facilities, or
A completed declaration form, a copy of the data page of the passport, a copy of the visa (and a copy of the page with the stamp of entry into the Russian Federation, if it is not marked on the Russian visa), a copy of the migration card with a clearly marked stamp of entry into the Russian Federation, a copy of the identity card of the person indicated on the declaration form. Furthermore, a power of attorney, if the citizen’s arrival is registered by a person other than the one listed on the notification form. This form is submitted free of charge at the local branch of the RF Migration Service. For a fee, these documents can also be submitted to any Russian post office. In that case, you need to submit the mentioned documents twice – one is sent by post to the migration service, the other is kept in case of loss on the way.
The notification form contains a part that, upon receipt, the migration service worker (or post office) stamps with an official date stamp confirming receipt of the notification. The worker then returns this part of the form to the person who made the report. The part of the form stamped in this way serves as a confirmation of compliance with the reporting obligation. Accommodation facilities, or the receiving party is therefore obliged to hand over the stamped part of the form to the citizen, who is obliged to keep it with him until the time of departure from the RF.
In accordance with the law, the traveler is obliged to register (be registered by the receiving party) at each place he arrives (if his total stay in the RF exceeds 7 working days). If he is accommodated in an accommodation facility, he will fulfill this obligation regardless of the length of stay in the accommodation facility.
In case of loss of a visa or its extension, it is advisable to have contacts with the inviting Russian entity, which must request the issuance of a duplicate visa and registration at the place of the foreigner’s last residence in the territory of the Russian Federation. At the same time, we draw your attention to strict penalties for foreigners who stay illegally on the territory of the Russian Federation or who do not have proof of compliance with the reporting obligation during their stay in the Russian Federation (a fine of up to 5,000 rubles, or even deportation).
In order to leave the territory of the Russian Federation, the visitor must present a valid visa at the border control.
If the visitor has exceeded the permitted period of stay (this also applies to the case when the visa has been lost or stolen) or has not been properly registered and de-registered at the place of stay, he has no right to leave the territory of the Russian Federation until the receiving party corrects the situation in cooperation with the migration service.
Conditions for transit through the territory of the Russian Federation
Citizens of the Czech Republic who travel to a third country and pass through the territory of the Russian Federation are required to present a Russian transit visa.
The exception is the situation when the passenger does not leave the transit area of the international airport on the territory of the Russian Federation (he is obliged to document this with a ticket and a visa). However, if he continues his journey from another airport in the same city, e.g. he arrives at Sheremetyevo 2 airport and continues from Domodedovo or Vnukovo airports, he needs a Russian visa.
If a citizen of the Czech Republic arrives and departs from the same airport, but from a different terminal, it is important to find out whether or not they leave the transit area when moving from one terminal to another. If he does not leave the transit area, he does not need a visa for a stay of up to 24 hours.
Visa extension in justified cases
In accordance with the Agreement between the European Community and the Russian Federation on the simplification of issuing visas to citizens of the European Union and the Russian Federation, citizens who, due to force majeure, do not have the opportunity to leave the territory of the Russian Federation and EU member states by the time specified in their visas, have their visas valid free of charge extend to the time required for their return to the state in which they have permanent residence.
Citizens of the Czech Republic who have lost their identity documents, or from whom these documents were stolen during their stay in the territory of the RF, may leave the territory without a visa on the basis of a valid identity document (so-called replacement travel card) issued by the consular authorities of the Czech Republic in the RF. Unfortunately, this fact is sometimes ignored by the Russian authorities, mainly due to ignorance of the relevant international regulation. If the above arguments do not help, we recommend immediately contacting the relevant consular department of the Czech Republic (Moscow, Sankt Peterburg or Yekaterinburg).
The security situation in some regions of the Russian Federation remains problematic for a long time (Dagestan, Chechnya, North Ossetia, Karachev-Cherkessia, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria). Travel to these areas may be associated with increased risk. Traveling and staying in the area of the Russian-Ukrainian border in the Rostov region, i.e. a border that is not controlled by official Ukrainian authorities, is also associated with risk.
We recommend that you carefully consider whether to travel to the above regions. Before traveling to the RF, we recommend using the voluntary registration system for citizens of the Czech Republic when traveling abroad, the so-called DROZD system (http://drozd.mzv.cz).
In the RF, it is generally forbidden to photograph military zones, bridges, ports and airports. Violation of this ban is usually followed by a document check and a fine. In the event of a clash with the Russian police or other security authorities, it is recommended to remain calm and, if necessary, contact the nearest embassy of the Czech Republic.
It should be taken into account that the peripheral (rural) regions of Russia pose a certain risk. The distances are considerable and a foreigner traveling by car may encounter local crime as well as the corrupt practices of the police and border guards. In the event of an accident and injury, medical assistance is not always guaranteed.
Services in the Russian Federation
Services in the Russian Federation have a solid level, especially in large cities, foreign tourists are served to a decent standard. Services to motorists on major road routes such as Brest – Moscow, Moscow – Ufa, Moscow – Rostov-on-Don, Moscow – Kazan, Moscow – Saint Petersburg, Saint Petersburg – Tallinn and Saint Petersburg – Vyborg are at a decent level. There is plenty of fuel, both gasoline (even unleaded) and diesel.
Accommodation in the Russian Federation, and especially in Moscow and St. Petersburg hotels, is expensive, and it is necessary to expect a fee per night in hotels with standard equipment ranging from approximately 100 to 300 USD.
Transportation from/to the airport
the Šeremetevo international airport, where most flights from the Czech Republic arrive, operates a direct train line Šeremetevo – Běloruské nádraží, the so-called Aeroexpress. The ride takes 50 minutes and the price is 400 rubles (www.aeroexpress.ru). A direct train line also operates on the route Domodedovo Airport – Pavelecké nádraží and Vnukovo Airport – Kyiv nádraží. From
In the area of taxi services, we warn citizens of the Czech Republic against using the services of private “taxi drivers” without a license. At the airport, there is an official counter operating 24 hours a day, where you pay and the employee tells you the type and license plate of the vehicle. Taxis are usually yellow. Increased attention should be paid to payment by card, or verification that the taxi driver has entered the correct amount into the payment device. Yandex Taxi, comparable to Uber, operates in most cities. We recommend using this or another legal service (Citymobil, Gant).
Basic foods are normally available for purchase in the RF, but we recommend buying and consuming only packaged products or properly treated vegetables and fruits. We fundamentally do not recommend buying alcoholic beverages at sales stands.
In recent years, cashless payments, both by card and through cashless payment systems, have been experiencing a great boom in Russia. Sellers accept cash without problems, but cashless payment is already preferred, especially in larger cities.
Despite the fact that there are a significant number of police officers on the streets of big cities, petty crime is still there. Especially in the evening in less frequented districts there is also the possibility of robbery. It is therefore recommended to observe basic security measures:
– carry only part of the money with you;
– exchange currency only in official exchange offices;
– when using a taxi service, visiting a restaurant or using other services, find out the prices in advance;
– if a police officer stops you and wants to check your documents, he must prove his identity (each officer must have a badge with a personal number on his chest).
What to do in case of robbery?
If your passport or other personal document has been stolen, you must write a report at the nearest police station. You submit the protocol when applying for a travel document at the consulate.
We recommend not accepting any objects, packages, luggage, etc. from unknown persons. The laws of the Russian Federation punish the smuggling, sale and solicitation of drug consumption with severe non-conditional prison sentences.
Transportation by private car
If the driver is not the owner of the car, he must have with him an officially certified power of attorney from the owner, which must be accompanied by an officially certified copy in Russian. Today, it is possible to use the services of car rental companies in all major cities of Russia without any problems. In remote areas, especially in the non-European part of Russia, it is a common practice to rent a car from a rental company with a driver.
Due to the climatic conditions and poor maintenance of the road network, road transport is often difficult and dangerous. The situation is made even worse by the erratic behavior of local drivers or bad signage. The situation on the roads of the city of Moscow and other larger cities is critical due to continuous traffic restrictions, repairs and traffic density. Traffic police (DPS) checks are frequent, speeding fines must be paid on the spot or by bank transfer. In the event of an accident, it must be taken into account that emergency vehicles, towing services and above all medical assistance arrive at the scene with a long delay.
Services on Russian railways are relatively developed and of high quality. In addition to the standard state train sets, you can also use more expensive and more comfortable sets (the so-called firmennye pojezda). For transport over shorter distances, it is possible to use a network of electric trains (so-called trams). Comfortable high-speed trains (Sapsan) run on the route Moscow – Sankt Peterburg and Moscow – Nizhny Novgorod.
Train tickets (long distance) are sold in advance; in the season (holidays and summer holidays) they often sell out quickly. A passport or a copy of its data page must be presented when purchasing a ticket; after payment, check the information on the ticket (name, passport number). When boarding the train, in addition to a valid ticket, a passport is also presented.
Domestic flights are operated by a number of local airlines. It is not guaranteed that Russian domestic airlines perfectly respect international safety guidelines.
Customs and foreign exchange regulations
The import and export of currency from/to the territory of the Russian Federation is governed by Federal Law No. 173-FZ dated 10.12.2003 “On Currency Regulation and Control”. The aforementioned law was amended and, in accordance with its amendment, a legal regulation applies in the Russian Federation, which sets out rules for natural persons (residents and non-residents) in the field of import and export of foreign or Russian currency.
Imported foreign currency and currency of the Russian Federation in cash, traveler’s checks, foreign and Russian securities with a total value exceeding USD 10,000, imported into the Russian Federation by natural persons (residents and non-residents) are subject to a written declaration to the customs authorities of the Russian Federation.
Export of foreign currency and RF currency (residents and non-residents) in cash, traveler’s checks and securities worth more than USD 10,000 is subject to a written declaration to the customs authorities of the Russian Federation (in duplicate).
The export of currency in cash, traveler’s checks and securities with a value of USD 10,000 and below is exempt from customs declaration or other official actions. Export of currency in cash or traveller’s checks and securities with a value exceeding USD 10,000 is possible only upon submission of a written customs declaration and other documents documenting the previous importation of the currency of traveller’s checks and securities to the Russian Federation with a value of more than USD 10,000.
We recommend that all citizens of the Czech Republic properly declare currency imported into the RF, both upon arrival and upon departure.
Tourists must pay special attention to the export of antiques, historical weapons, literature and other art objects. In these cases, it is necessary to present a permit for the export of these items issued by the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation at the border crossings of the Russian Federation.
When importing animals to the territory of the Russian Federation, it is necessary to submit a certificate of their appropriate vaccination and satisfactory health status. The same applies to their export from the RF. It is advisable to have the confirmation provided with an official translation into the Russian language.
Exact information can be found on the website of the Russian Federal Customs Service (www.customs.ru). There you can also find a list of items subject to a written declaration when transported by a natural person across the customs border of the Russian Federation for personal use.
Note: If you have any of the items that are subject to customs declaration, you must pass through the so-called red zone upon arrival in the RF. Before that, you need to fill out a customs declaration twice. You hand in one copy, have the other one confirmed and keep it for later customs control upon departure from the RF as proof that you have imported the declared item into the RF.
Employment of citizens from the Czech Republic
The employment of foreigners is regulated by the RF Federal Law No. 115 of 7/25/2002 “On the Legal Status of Foreigners in the Russian Federation”, as amended.
According to this law, the Government of the Russian Federation sets a quota for professions in which foreigners will be able to work in the RF every year on the proposal of state authorities. Quotas are determined according to the demographic situation in individual areas. It is the employer’s duty to apply for the quota in advance. In the case of quotas for the following calendar year, the application is submitted in the period from the first to the fourth month of the current calendar year. If the local authorities deem it necessary during the year, they give companies the opportunity to apply for a so-called overquota in the same year. A company can apply for a quota only if it is registered with the tax office in a specific region. Quotas are not transferable between individual regions, regions, regions and republics. In some areas, or spheres of activity, the employment of foreigners is directly prohibited. It is, for example,
If foreigners spend less than 183 calendar days in Russia, they pay income tax of 30%. After 183 days, the tax is reduced to 13%. The so-called highly qualified workers have their tax reduced to 13%.
Pension and health insurance
Another of the laws that must be followed is RF Law No. 109 of 2009 “On Immigration Registration of Citizens and Persons Without Citizenship of the Russian Federation”. For foreign workers temporarily located in Russia, the employer pays the full amount of pension insurance (22%) and reduced social insurance (1.8%), only if the foreigner is employed on the basis of an official work permit.
Procedure for obtaining a work permit for a foreign worker:
1. The employer fills out an application to fill a job for a specific profession in the database of employers at the employment office, which territorially must correspond with the address of the employer, branch, etc. The application must be open for 30 days – during this time, the employment office searches for and sends suitable candidates for interviews. In case of rejection of the candidate, the employer must properly justify his decision.
2. After the prescribed deadline, the employer can submit an application for the employment of foreign labor (so-called privlechenije inostrannnoj sily) for a specific position, which has already been approved by the labor office, at the branch of the Migration Center of the Ministry of the Interior (in Moscow it is the Sakharovo Migration Center). Processing takes 30 days and the fee is 10 thousand rubles.
3. Subsequently, the employer submits an application for processing a work permit for a specific person whom he plans to invite to work in Russia. Processing takes 15 working days and the fee is 3,500 rubles.
4. On the basis of the issued work permit, the employer submits a request for an invitation to a work visa to the Migration Center of the Ministry of the Interior (in Moscow it is the Ministry of Interior Pokrovka), which will be used to issue a one-time entry visa to the Russian embassy in the Czech Republic. The processing time takes 16 days and the fee is 800 rubles.
5. After the worker’s arrival in Russia, it is necessary to submit documents for visa extension. The visa is extended for the duration of the work permit. The processing time takes 21 days and the fee is 1,600 rubles.
Procedure for obtaining a work permit for a highly qualified specialist (VKS):
1. In the case of highly qualified specialists, there is no need to go through the labor office, nor are they subject to job quotas. All you have to do is submit the specialist’s documents at the appropriate branch of the Ministry of the Interior. Processing a work permit takes 3 weeks and the fee is 3,500 rubles.
2. On the basis of the issued work permit, the employer submits a request for an invitation for the purpose of processing a visa (processing time is 16 days and the fee is 800 rubles). The Ministry of the Interior will then electronically send the necessary documents and the approved application to the Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic, where the worker will pick up the visa in 10 days.
Fairs and events
The participation of companies in specialized international and regional exhibitions and fairs is an effective tool for promotion and establishing business contacts. Important events focused on engineering, energy, agriculture and food industry, tourism and a number of other fields take place every year in Moscow and regional centers. Exhibition organizers are Russian and international exhibition companies (e.g. Hyve Group) and are mostly held under the auspices of Russian line ministries.
The official participation of Czech companies at selected trade fairs in the Russian Federation is organized annually through subsidy programs of the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic, PaulTrade or other organizations. For details on specific exhibitions and conditions of participation, you should follow the websites of the respective resorts.
Important exhibitions and fairs in the Russian Federation in 2021:
• ProdExpo (food industry): February 2021, Moscow
• MITT (tourism): March 2021, Moscow
• Ecology of Big city (ecology): March 2021, St. Petersburg
• Neftegaz (oil and gas): April 2021, Moscow
• Atomexpo (nuclear power): April 2021, Sochi
• Metalloobrabotka (engineering): May 2021, Moscow
• WasteTech (water management): June 2021, Moscow
• Innoprom (engineering): July 2021, Yekaterinburg
• MAKS (aviation): August 2021, Moscow
• MIMS Automechanika Moscow (automotive industry): August 2021, Moscow
• Ugol & Mining (mining and mining): September 2021, Novokuznetsk
• Leisure (tourism): September 2021, Moscow
• WorldFood Moscow (food industry): October 2021, Moscow
• St. Petersburg Gas Forum (gas industry): October 2021, St. Petersburg
• JugAgro (agriculture): November 2021.