Donít face penalties sending World Cup items to Russia
By David Jinks
Thursday 17 May 2018 09:49:00
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World Cup visitors planning to ship items to Russia must be prepared to tackle the strong defence that is Russian Customs, warns David Jinks, Head of Consumer Research at ParcelHero.

‘Boro fans planning group trips or shipping items such as sports kits and Middlesbrough flags into Russia will need to take care to avoid being caught offside by strict regulations surrounding shipping items into Russia and delivering them into stadiums.

If you are part of a group planning to venture beyond the usual place you watch football; be it your own lounge, The Pig Iron, Last Orders or The Southfields - and instead heading to Russia to enjoy the World Cup you can expect a great time, but also some unusual challenges!

Some unexpected items have been banned from World Cup stadia this year – while it’s also easy to get red-carded by Russian customs if you don’t follow Russia’s strict duties regulations.

Whether you are shipping merchandise, organising a supporters’ team visit, or just sending a few items ahead using an international courier, shippers need to know clearing Russian Customs isn’t a walk in Gorky Park.

Remember, this isn’t a guide to entering Russia with your World Cup and ‘Boro trappings travelling with you on the plane; but for if you choose to send kit by courier – perhaps because it’s over the luggage allowance, for a large supporters group or merchandise for sale at World Cup events.

The good news is that parcels that are worth less than €200 do not have to pay customs duties and fees when clearing customs. But be aware that if you are sending items on to a private Russian address there are many extra checks. Russian individuals are restricted to €1000 of purchased items up to 31 kg per person per month. While shipping items to business addresses is relatively easy, customs checks on goods shipped to Russian private addresses mean many items are significantly delayed. Many couriers, for this reason, won’t deliver to private addresses in the Russian Federation.

While you’re in Russia

Even if you get your supporters kit, flags etc through Customs, that doesn’t mean they’re going to get into the Stadium. Visitors to the World Cup must sign up for a FAN ID: a personalised identification card, which gives visa-free entry to Russia during the tournament. But that’s only half the battle: visitors, even those holding a FAN ID, must be aware that there’s a long list of items not allowed into stadiums. These include:

  • sporting gear or equipment,

  • flags or banners larger than 2m x 1.5m;

  • bicycles, skateboards and scooters; unless used for the transportation of people with impaired mobility

  • food or beverages of any kind, including alcoholic beverages;

  • thermos bottles or any kinds of flasks;

  • work tools of any kind;

  • All animals, except for registered guide dogs.

  • promotional materials of any kind;

  • unwieldy objects or bags, if they exceed 158cm

  • umbrellas longer than 25cm when folded.

  • liquids in containers larger than 100ml

Also, be aware if you are travelling with a young family, that baby strollers are permitted; but they must be stored in a dedicated left luggage area.

In addition to these items many more obvious items are also banned at stadiums, including weapons (including replica weapons), crackers, sharp implements, aerosols, dyes, and powdered substances.

Delivering items into World Cup stadiums is likely to be a slow procedure, for obvious security reasons. Match day deliveries are being organised by local logistics organising committees (LOCs). These will provide freight forwarding and logistics services for all organisations working directly with FIFA. Other organisations can choose a logistics operator of their own, or work with the official service provider, Kuehne+Nagel.

And there are other stadium delivery restrictions. For example, vans and trucks visiting stadiums on match days must have their cargo bay separated from the driver's cab with a physical partition. Importantly, passenger vehicles carrying light cargo can access stadiums, but only if they have a permit. Don’t forget, the driver and any accompanying passengers must be accredited.

As international couriers will not have access to football stadiums during Security Regime periods (e.g. match days), the LOCs will organise the delivery of parcels and correspondence to the final receiver at a stadium. Courier deliveries to world cup stadiums must meet the following criteria:

  • Cargo dimensions must be no more than 60cm x 70cm x 150cm;

  • Cargo weight must not exceed 31 kg;

  • No private or confidential deliveries.

Just to repeat, many of the restrictions we’ve looked at are specifically around forwarding shipping items for supporters group or for sale in stadiums. The average football fan travelling with all their kit with them on the aircraft should check out

Enjoy your trip – and let’s hope British fans have good reason to stay right through to July 15th, when England play in the final…

You can read ParcelHero’s free full Guide to shipping to Russia for the World Cup at



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