Russia introduces mandatory e-invoices for specified goods
Russia is introducing new invoicing requirements for certain goods
From 1 July 2021, all invoices for designated ‘traceable goods’ must include Batch Registration Numbers and be filed in an electronic format.
The measure is designed to enable Russian authorities to trace the movement of specified items in Russia and the EAEU. Amongst other items, traceable goods include refrigeration equipment, baby safety seats and strollers, and electric circuits. B2B e-invoicing was introduced in Russia in 2021, on a voluntary basis.
The measures are part of Russia’s new traceability system, which aims to combat smuggling and tax evasion. Authorities have warned that any failure to comply with the new system can lead to fines.
A digital invoicing drive
Russia is very ambitious about extending e-invoicing to all transactions in the coming years. Businesses that trade in Russia need to carefully plan for e-invoicing requirements. Companies will need processes and digital tools to meet e-invoicing compliance requirements. Staff may also need additional training.
Russian authorities are looking into various ways to update the Russian tax code. Lawmakers have already mooted a digital services tax and a tax on cryptocurrencies.
In addition, nonresident companies that provide electronic servicers to customers in Russia must, in many cases, register for VAT.
Tracking and tracing all goods
More broadly, Russia has introduced a large-scale track and trace system for the trade in goods.
The Chesty ZNAK digital system, which is designed to fight counterfeiting, was introduced in 2018. Russian lawmakers hope to include most goods traded in Russia by 2024. The system assigns a unique identification number to goods, which are authenticated at various points in the supply chain.
Chesty ZNAK was initially applied to medicines. Russia hopes to eventually cover a broad range of goods with the system.
Plan ahead to avoid fines
Companies that trade in Russia should take careful note of developments in digital tracking and e-invoicing. Businesses that import into Russia are advised to consult with a VAT expert to help navigate the rapidly changing regulatory environment and avoid penalties.