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Tourists will soon have one more reason to come to Russia – tax-free shopping.

Under the scheme, which is expected to start in 2012, foreign visitors will be able to get back some of the money they spend in Russia. The minimum purchase eligible for tax return will be 10,000 rubles (about $300). Under the new rules, foreign visitors will be able to reclaim the VAT, amounting to 15 per cent. The list of the goods taking part in the program will be wider than in Europe.

After purchasing the goods, a buyer will receive a customs declaration which a shop assistant will help fill in. At the airport, the declaration should be submitted to the Mark Prior Tax Free stand and the company’s employees will sign all the necessary documents which are then sealed by customs officials and put into the Mark Prior box.

The money will be transferred to the customer’s account within three months. The process could be controlled through the company’s website. Apart from shops recognized by a special Tax Free sign the project will involve airports and payment systems. At first, only Moscow and St. Petersburg will support the new initiative. Later, Sochi will join in.


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