The products that you intend to export to Russia, Kazakhstan or Belarus, are most likely subject to mandatory certification via either TR CU Certificate of Conformity or TR CU Declaration of Conformity.
TR CU CERTIFICATION OF CONFORMITY
Before the formation of the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, all goods had to be evaluated for conformity to the domestic standards and codes called GOST-R. Once established, the regulatory compliance used to be confirmed by a document known as "GOST-R Certificate of Conformity".
Now that Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have formed a Customs Union, a new set of common regulations has been put into force. Conformity now has to be established to a relevant set of Technical Regulations of the Customs Union, or TR CU (sometimes, it is transliterated from Russian as "TR TS").
For every product type, a transitional period has been established, after which old GOST-R certificates will become null and void. For many product groups the interim period has either already expired or will expire soon.
ALERT: Old GOST-R certificates will become obsolete for most groups of products in April, 2015 !
The said conformity has to be assessed by an authorized organization in one of the three Customs Union member-countries. Once they receive a properly compiled product dossier, the regulators assess the documents, run the necessary lab tests and issue the appropriate certification.
The TR CU certification is mandatory for most consumer goods and services, equipment, foods, vehicles etc. Without TR CU certification, the product will never be cleared into the Union Customs.
products that fall under mandatory certification are certified either via TR CU Declaration of Conformity or TR CU Certificate of Conformity. TR CU Certificates of Conformity are issued after very rigorous and expensive tests and trials; in many cases, an onsite inspection of the manufacturing facility is required.
Several groups of products are subject to State (Federal) Registration in Russia. State Registration certificate now replaces the former Sanitary-Hygienic Certification. Among products that fall under mandatory State Registration are dietary supplements and medical devices.
Many products are subject to additional certifications: besides TR, there are 16 other mandatory certification systems (like Fire Safety Certificate, RTN Permit etc) and 129 voluntary certification systems.
If the HS Code you have selected for your product is exempt from mandatory certification, it does not mean that the merchandise would be seamlessly admitted in the Customs Union. To avoid frictions with Customs officials, many exporters obtain Voluntary Certificates and Exemption Letters. Signed by the legitimate regulatory organizations, these two documents serve as a final argument to the Customs if they question the exemptibility of your product. Voluntary Certification as well enhances the credibility and marketability of the goods.
When deciding on the scope and type of certification your product has to go through, it is best to follow the advice of a competent Russia regulatory consultant.
Thus, you are most likely looking at ordering one or several of four most typical types of certificates:
- Certificate of TR CU Conformity
- Declaration of Conformity
- Federal Registration
- Voluntary GOST-TR and Exemption Letter