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   October 1
 Survival Guide
Export and Import of Artwork and Antiques
1. Export of Artwork and Antiques from Russia
Russian Federation customs require official export permits for certain items of artwork and all antiques - regardless of whether they were purchased in Russia or imported to Russia from another country.
A small number of items can be exported without any kind of export permit, including:
• Souvenirs (matryoshka dolls, wooden souvenirs, lacquer boxes, Gzhel and other porcelain items, etc.)
• Contemporary books (no older than 50 years)
• Contemporary osters, reproductions, lithographs (no older than 50 years)
• Electrical devices (e.g., electrical samovars) and electronic instruments (e.g. synthesizers and electrical guitars)
• Posters (reproductions only) & prints (no older than 50 years)
For the vast majority of others an official export permit from the Ministry of Culture (MOC) of the Russian Federation is required. These items include, but are not limited to:

• Icons (any)
• Paintings (any)
• Carpets and rugs (any)
• Samovars (any, except for electrical samovars)
• Musical instruments (any)
• Weapons and firearms (any)*

*Export permits for weapons and firearms can only be obtained by their legal owner. Your moving company will not be able to assist you with this. Obtaining export permits for weapons and firearms is a lengthy and difficult process and involves the police, and we highly recommend you abstain from purchasing any such items in Russia. For the same reason, you should not bring any weapons or firearms into the country.

Export permits are also required for any items that are over 50 years old, including:

• Posters
• Furniture
• Books, newspapers, magazines, postcards, maps
• Paper money and coins
• Stamps
• Precious metals
• Scientific instruments and household devices
• Archeological objects

Items that are over 100 years old:
Warning: It is very difficult (and sometimes impossible) to obtain export permits for any items that are over 100 years old – unless you brought them into the country from abroad AND officially registered them with Russian customs for import.
Obtaining Export Permits from the Ministry of Culture (MOC)
When you are moving with Allied Pickfords and are planning to ship any items for which export permits from the Ministry of Culture are required, please let us know in advance - we will then obtain all necessary export documents for you. In order to obtain the export permits, our customs specialist will visit your home before your personal belongings are packed. He will take photos of all items requiring MOC export customs clearance, and with those photos, a Power of Attorney from you (we will supply you with a sample Power of Attorney and the address of our preferred notary), a copy of your passport and Russian visa, we will obtain the export permits for you (with the exception of cold weapons and firearms, the export permits for which can only be obtained by the legal owner).
Purchasing Artwork & Antiques in Russia
If you plan to buy valuable artwork or antiques in Russia, it is preferable to purchase them from an official art gallery or antique store. Make sure you get a formal receipt for your purchase (and any other supporting documents where appropriate). The presence of a receipt will facilitate the export permit process.

As it is very difficult to export items that are over 100 years old from the Russian Federation, please be very careful when buying icons, samovars and antiques (including antique paintings, furniture, wooden wedding trunks, gramophones, etc.). It can be very difficult or even impossible to export icons – they must be physically taken to the MOC to undergo an expertise. It can take up to three months to obtain export permits for icons. For samovars, certain restrictions apply as to what kind of samovars can be exported - depending on the manufacturing year and the design.

Do not buy any kind of weapon in Russia - you will have to get the export permits for them yourself, and this is a very tedious, difficult and time-consuming process.
2. Import of Artwork & Antiques to Russia
When you are moving to Russia and are bringing artwork and/or antiques into the country from abroad, ask your moving company to register them with Russian customs for import.

You should also register any artwork & antiques with Russian customs when bringing them back to Russia from a business trip or vacation abroad, in particular if the item(s) is (are) over 50 years old.

If you / your moving company register your artwork and antiques when bringing them into Russia, the export permit for those items can be obtained from the MOC without any additional expertise, normally within 1 to 5 working days.

For more information on importing artwork & antiques to the Russian Federation, please go to the page on Customs: Taking your Personal Belongings out of the Country when you Leave / Bringing them into the Country when Moving to Russia.
DISCLAIMER - The above information was compiled by Allied Pickfords Moscow and is distributed on an “AS IS” basis, without warranty. Please note that customs regulations are subject to change at any time and without prior notice. The preceding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to the export and import of artworks and antiques from and to the Russian Federation and is being provided for general guidance only. Allied Pickfords cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, loss or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance with Russian Federation customs regulations or alleged to have been caused directly or indirectly by the information provided here.
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