Customs Regulations

Customs controls in Russia are relatively relaxed these days. Searches beyond the perfunctory are quite rare. Apart from the usual restrictions, you are limited by the amount of cash you can bring in.

Your flight attendants will likely give you a deklaratsiya (customs declaration). Here you should list any currency you are carrying, as well as valuables such as computers and cameras. To avoid hassle upon departure, it's best to get this form stamped and to hang on to it. (Sometimes there are no customs officials in sight, in which case it's obviously not possible.)

If you are carrying more than US$3000 - or valuables worth that much - you must declare it and proceed through the red channel.

Otherwise, on entering Russia, you can pick up your luggage and go through the green channel, meaning 'nothing to declare'.

If you intend to take home anything vaguely 'arty' (manuscripts, instruments, coins, jewellery) it must be assessed by the Cultural Security Department (Map pp68-9; @j 3115196; Malaya Morskaya ul 17; S 11am-5pm Mon-Fri; @ NevskyPr). Take along your passport, a sales receipt and the item in question. The 'experts' will issue a receipt for tax paid and a certificate stating that the item is not an antique. It is illegal to export anything over 100 years old.

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