Moving International to or From Russia

Moving Overseas to or From Russia

International Moving

When moving to Russia, it is important to know that regulations can change without notice and you will be expected to comply. Expats in Russia also cannot count on help from their Russia-based embassies, as the Russian government does not always work well with foreign governments and may overrule any diplomatic efforts to assist you.

For example, if you are a U.S. citizen in Russia on a visa and your visa expires before you leave, you now must stay in Russia until you get a new visa. Since the Russian government will not allow your embassy to help you with this, you will be on your own.

While in Russia, keep your visa and passport with you at all times. Russian police can ask you to present it, at any time, for any reason, and you can find yourself in a lot of trouble if you don’t have it.

How can I import my personal items to Russia?

Most people use 40 ft shipping container movers when they move internationally. A shipping container from New York to Moscow will cost between $7,000-$11,700. When your shipment arrives, you must already be in Russia. While you are not required to be present for customs clearance, your presence may be requested if there are any questions. If you are importing any works of art, your presence will always be required, so set aside time to be onsite.

You will need to set up a Russian bank account prior to customs clearance. Your household goods will be subject to duty. You can expect to pay 30% of their assessed valued, as well as a 5% customs fee, both of which must be paid from your Russian bank account.

Here is a partial list of the documents you may need:

  • Bill of Lading
  • Box-by-box packing list
  • Unexpired passport with at least six months before expiration
  • Russian visa – pay close attention to the dates!
  • Russian work permit
  • Residence registration
  • Power of Attorney, notarized by a Russian attorney or notary
  • Sponsorship letter from a Russian employer or organization
  • Letter from employer detailing your work and how long you will be in the country to do it
  • Detailed inventory with values
  • Declaration form

Am I allowed to move my vehicle to Russia?

Yes, you are allowed to ship your vehicle to Russia, but you may find the costs to be prohibitive.

Customs duty for vehicles is very expensive. Officials will assess the value of your vehicle and charge you 22% of the value as customs duty. You must make a deposit for your customs duty in advance via your Russian bank. Again, you will want to be in Russia when your vehicle arrives so that you can be onsite if asked.

They will ask you for at least these documents:

  • Customs declaration
  • Proof of purchase
  • Mechanical inspection certificate
  • Russian visa
  • Passport
  • Residence registration

You can get help with your international move

Some countries are easy to move to. Their government may function a bit like yours and the culture may be very similar. Russia is not one of those countries. Russia has very complex and strict rules governing everything from the visa process to the bank you use to pay your customs duty and taxes.

Your best move will be to work with an international shipper so that you have the support and help you need. Three Men and a Truck are international movers and packers with international shipping expertise. Find out more about how we can help you move to Russia by contacting us for a free shipping quote.

Popular Routes

To or From Russia


Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at

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