Are you playing roulette with your shipments to Russia? - Blueblox

Are you playing roulette with your shipments to Russia?

Trade Compliance Consulting



“Russia is an enormous country with a huge, sophisticated economy – it’s a massive opportunity for us. But why is it so difficult to import our goods there?”

At BlueBlox, we hear this all the time. In this case, our client was a multinational manufacturer of high-tech network security equipment. With offices worldwide and a state-of-the-art warranty replacement programme in 37 countries, they were continually baffled by the complexities of managing their service into Russia, especially when it came to reliability and efficiency. As a result, their business in Russia plateaued, when it should have been expanding rapidly. They called us.


For our client, importing into Russia presented many challenges, because Russia is one of the most complex countries to import goods into. Exporters working in the region grapple with:

  • International trade sanctions across several sectors
  • Export compliance responsibilities for strategic and dual-use goods
  • Inexplicable contractual requirements with unknown entities, presenting permanent establishment and tax concerns
  • Significant product compliance formalities
  • All documentation needing to be provided in Russian
  • Bribery and corruption across customs structures and practices

Our client found that they could get their warranty shipments into Russia – eventually – but, with no confidence in the service, and their customers were suffering as a result.

Because prompt replacement of vital components couldn’t be guaranteed, our customer was obliged to rely on their service providers; essentially, closing their eyes and hoping for the best. Under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, they had no certainty about compliant importation.



What our client needed was a reliable import process into Russia; one that provided their customers with the same efficient, state-of-the-art warranty replacement service they could offer in the rest of the world. This process also had to be:

  • Completely transparent
  • Under reliable management and control
  • Low risk and fully compliant


When BlueBlox designed this solution for exports to Russia, we prioritised the achievement of our clients’ operational business objectives (efficiency and reliability), while ensuring that their concerns regarding transparency and compliance could be properly addressed.

The process

Before shipment, designed and supported the client in implementing a process that ensures that all procedures are followed completely, and all paperwork is generated faultlessly. This included sanctions procedures, denied party screening for Russian end-users, product compliance, and all shipment documentation in English and in Russian.

During shipment, we ensured the client can monitor all aspects of the export, reporting its status at all stages. This includes the shipment leaving Europe, clearance into Russia, and delivery to end customers.

After shipment, we helped the client in defining what needs to be included in complete records of every movement and transaction and obtaining these for every movement.


The result

Our client now delivers fully compliant shipments and has cut its delivery time from over two months to two weeks. The end-to-end solution that was implemented for our client takes control of the shipment and all related documentation before it leaves, and through the process the client obtains transparency and maintains control until the goods reach the end customer.

If our client had tried to set up a robust solution themselves, it would have taken months. But, with BlueBlox, the solution was up and running in mere weeks. It pays to call the experts.

Need a similar solution? Contact BlueBlox. We’d be happy to discuss your requirements.


Of all the customs regimes in the world, the Russian customs classification structure is one of the most complex, with a description of up to 16 characters in their HS-code. So, when implementing a Russian export solution, documentation will always be crucial to your success. Be prepared to spend a lot of time working on documents like data sheets, certificates of conformity, and detailed descriptions of each product and its capabilities.

Commitment and patience are equally critical. Solutions like this can take time to establish (up to a year), especially if your product compliance isn’t fully in place. The more prepared you are for Russian operations and product compliance, the faster your implementation will be. 

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