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 whether it's worth shipping goods over. Shipping to Russia can be tricky due to the country's vast size.
Expats are highly recommended to seek out 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 orient new arrivals. See our list of relocation companies in Russia that can help ease the transition.
Shipping household goods 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 customs 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.
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, including 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 at 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 of up to 55 percent as well as a value-added tax. That said, tax rates and specific documentation required are subject to change, so expats should check the governmental customs page. Relocation 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, as well as health certificates and documents.
Expats interested in shipping their pets to Russia should consider their new living situation. Most Russian living is done in small apartments rather than houses with outdoor space, so it’s important for expats to 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
Cigna Global Health Insurance.
Medical insurance specifically designed for expats. With Cigna, you won't have to rely on foreign public health care systems, which may not meet your needs. Cigna allows you to speak to a doctor on demand, for consultations or instant advice, wherever you are in the world. They also offer full cancer care across all levels of cover, and settle the cost of treatments directly with the provider.
International Movers. Get Quotes. Compare Prices.
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.