21 Mar 2024 16:21

Excise labeling of imported alcohol abroad should be prohibited and process transferred to Russia - Siluanov

MOSCOW. MARCH 21 (Interfax) - The overseas excise labeling of alcoholic beverages imported into Russia should be prohibited by law, and the process should be transferred to Russian territory, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

"Another issue is the excise labeling of alcoholic products imported into the Russian Federation. Today, this occurs in warehouses abroad, primarily in the Baltic countries. It is necessary to prepare legislative proposals to ban this from being done in other countries and transfer it to the territory of the Russian Federation. This is an important task," Siluanov said, speaking at the FCS board on Thursday.

As reported, since June 1, 2022, Russia has been conducting an experiment to stamp imported alcohol with special federal excise marks. It began in Kaliningrad region, and then the Russian government extended it to all regions of the country. Now it takes place in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the Moscow, Bryansk, Vladimir, Kaliningrad, Leningrad, Pskov and Smolensk regions, in Krasnodar Territory and Tatarstan.

The essence of the experiment is that previously, excise marks have been applied to imported alcohol only before importation to Russia. It is usually done at manufacturing plants or warehouses in the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia). Because of this, importers faced additional risks associated with the formation of a logistics supply chain and providing additional cargo insurance. There was also a risk that Western countries could ban the offshore labeling process.

The experiment on applying stamps in warehouses in Russia was scheduled to end on May 31, 2024.

However, on March 13, the State Duma adopted a law in its third reading that extends the experiment through May 31, 2026.

According to the law's authors, there is a risk that several countries could introduce a ban on the excise labeling of alcohol for export to Russia on their territories. "In this regard, it seems appropriate to extend the period of the experiment through May 31, 2026, which will allow the formation of new logistics routes and the creation of new infrastructure facilities," the bill's explanatory materials say.