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VNIIS Letter of Exemption

Letter of exemption is an official document from the certifying authority or Agency for Technical Regulation confirming that the applicant’s products are not subject to mandatory declaration or mandatory certification.  This document can be of two types:

  • Letter of exemption for retail;
  • Letter of exemption for customs clearance of goods (for customs office).

These letters are issued by different organizations: letters for customs are issued by VNIIS (Russian Research Institute for Certification), letters for retail can be issued by any authorized certification center. Letter of exemption is:

  • Valid for 1 year;
  • Issued on blank paper of A4 format;
  • Certified by the stamp of the authorized organization.

The list of goods and services subject to mandatory certification in the Russian Federation is updated on a yearly basis. Hence the short term validity of the exemption letter. Letter of Exemption for Retail This type of letter can be received from authorized certifying organization ROSPROMTEST. These letters are valid for sale of goods within the territory of Russia, but they will not be accepted by customs authorities. Letter of exemption is mandatory when the products are not subject to testing for compliance with GOST R system. Such document will be enough to show to the controlling authorities and your clients. Sometimes letter of exemption is issued for the batch of goods which are subject to mandatory certification or declaration, but were imported to Russia as individual pieces for marketing purposes (1 phone, 1 day planner, 1 mug etc.) As a rule, the total price of such batch is considerably lower than the costs for obtaining a declaration or certificate, so it makes sense to receive a letter of exemption for it. However the final decision in each situation is taken by the customs authorities on individual basis. Often approval is given to the goods subject to mandatory declaration or certification. Letter of Exemption for Customs Office A separate letter of exemption is required in case of disputable situation when the goods are crossing the border of Russia. The customs authorities use TNVED (Commodity Classifier) codes for commodities. But when compared with OKP RF (All-Russian Classifier of Products), TNVED codes are not always assigned correctly initially. This results in the obligation to obtain mandatory Certificate of Conformity under TNVED but no obligation under OKP (All-Russian Classifier). A letter of exemption from Ministry of Industry and Trade or VNIIS is needed to settle such situation.