Visalink Russia
M. Kharitonievsky per. 9/13, bld.4
Moscow, Russia 107078
+7 495 772 4224
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Our office has moved to M. Kharitonievsky per. 9/13 , bld.4, Moscow, RF 107078. If you would like to visit us please call for the appointment.
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Visalink specializes in assisting business professionals with their corporate needs and independent international travelers with their visa requirements before and upon arrival to Russia. Register and you would be able to apply online for a full range of Russian visa support services, including express single, double and multiple-entry business visas, one day tourist visa invitations, registration upon arrival in Moscow. You do not need to send us any documents. All necessary information is collected through our secure online form.

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Import and export of cultural valuables to or from the Russian Federation

Export or import of cultural valuables means movement by any person for any purpose whatsoever across customs border of the Russian Federation of cultural valuables held on the territory of the RF or a foreign state respectively, without obligation of return import (export) of such cultural valuables.

The existing procedure was established by the Russian Federation Law, "Export and Import of Cultural Valuables" № 4804-1 dated 15 April 1993. According to the above Law, cultural values include the following items:

  • Historical valuables associated with, but not limited to, historical events in the life of the nation, society and state development, history of science and technics, life and activities of outstanding personalities (state, politics and public figures, thinkers, scholars, literature or arts figures);

  • Items and their fragments obtained from archeological excavations;

  • Arts valuables including fully handwork paintings and drawings, original works of sculpture, original artistic compositions and designs, cult items with artistic finish (icons etc.), engravings, prints, lithographies, works of decorative and applied arts, and works of traditional folk arts;

  • Elements or fragments of architectural, historical or arts monuments, and works of monument art;

  • Old age folios and publications presenting certain interest (either historical, artistic, scientific or literary);

  • Rare manuscripts and document relics;

  • Archives (including photography, phonography, cinematography and video);

  • Unique or rare musical instruments;

  • Postage stamps or other philatelic materials;

  • Old age coins, orders, medals, stamps and other numismatic items;

  • Rare flora/fauna collections and specimens, items presenting interest for such science branches as mineralogy, anatomy and paleontology;

  • Other movable items, including copies representing historical, artistic, scientific or other cultural value, historical and cultural monuments preserved by the state.

  • It should be noted that the Law does not apply to common souvenirs and cultural items in mass or series production.

Export of archives, unique and rare musical instruments, old age folios etc. outside the territory of the Russian Federation will be subject to availability of Export Certificate authorizing export of cultural property. Export Certificate for cultural property can be obtained directly from the Ministry of Culture and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. Cultural valuables declared for export are subject to mandatory expertise. Export of property, for which ownership title is held by author, may be authorized upon producing an opinion by relevant arts association or establishment to which the author was a member, evidencing authorship and consent to export. Carriage of common souvenirs and cultural items across customs border of the Russian Federation is subject to generally established procedure not requiring presentation of Export Certificate to Customs Authority. When a Customs Officer has a doubt in qualifying goods being imported as cultural items, he can require producing a standard certificate evidencing that the above items are not subject to state registration and do not require Export Certificates. Such standard certificate will be issued by either Russia Ministry of Culture's Federal Agency for Oversight over Observance of Law on Mass Communications and Preservation of Cultural Heritage or any of its Regional Offices. It should be noted that the standard certificate will not be required to produce on movement across the customs border of the Russian Federation.

The following cultural valuables will not be allowed for movement outside the Russian Federation territory:

  • Movable items presenting historical, artistic, scientific or other cultural value and qualified according to the applicable law as high-value items of cultural heritage of the Russian Federation nations, irrespective of the time of creation;

  • Movable items, irrespective of the time of creation, protected by the State and included in Protection Lists and Registers according to the procedure established under the law of the Russian Federation;

  • Cultural valuables in continuous storage at national and municipal museums, archives, libraries, and other national cultural valuable depositories in the Russian Federation. Subject to decision of competent federal authorities, this rule may also be applied to other museums, archives and libraries;

  • Cultural valuables created over 100 years ago, unless otherwise stipulated by law.

  • The above list is comprehensive, and restriction on export of cultural valuables on other grounds shall not apply. In accordance with international conventions to which the Russian Federation is a party, cultural valuables unlawfully exported out or imported into the RF are subject to withdrawal and return.

When shipped by mail, items must be submitted to relevant postal agencies accompanied by customs duty payment receipt.
When a person intends to go to a foreign state as a permanent place of residence and wish to export outside Russia certain items presenting family treasures or memorial valuables which items are not in permanent storage in either national or municipal museums, archives, libraries etc., Export Certificates for the above items shall be issued subject to approval by Interdepartmental Council for Export and Import of Cultural Valuables. Presenting evidence on ownership title to the above items shall be a mandatory requirement for obtaining such an approval.

Cultural valuables imported by individuals under Customs Code, Article 262 para. 5, shall be fully exempted from customs duties, and taxes, when declared in writing, and properly registered according to the RF law on export and import of cultural valuables.
Customs control over temporary import and export of cultural valuables.

Temporary export of cultural valuables is carried out by museums, archives, libraries, and other entities and individuals for the following purposes: exhibitions; restoration work and scientific research; theatrical, concert activities etc. or other occasions.

Decision on temporary export possibility will be taken by RF Ministry of Culture's competent authorities. Application for temporary export of cultural valuables shall be filed by the owner of such items or his/her authorized representative. An Applicant shall be notified of the decision taken at least within three months of the date of formal acceptance of the application.

Temporary export term shall be specified by customs authority of the Russian Federation based on information contained in Export Certificate. When a decision is taken on extension of temporary export term based on application by a person temporary exporting cultural valuables, RF Ministry of Culture or regional authority thereof shall notify of such decision customs authority which processed customs clearance for such temporary export. Cultural valuables returned to the Russian Federation following temporary exportation thereof shall be subject to mandatory expertise.

Cultural valuables temporarily imported into the Russian Federation for the purpose of cultural cooperation, and being property of foreign states, entities or individuals, are under protection of the Russian Federation, and are covered by the Russian Federation law on preservation of cultural heritage of the peoples of the Russian Federation. Granting government guarantees on protection of the above valuables shall, in each particular case, be in accordance with international conventions or Directives by the Government of the Russian Federation provided principle of mutuality is observed.

For declared cultural valuables exported (temporarily exported) from the Russian Federation, the declaring person must specify in Customs Declaration the Export Certificate number, date of issuance, and the name of issuing authority. Customs Declaration review and acceptance shall be carried out by customs authority under the established procedure.