Russian Currency and Currency Regulations

For Travellers to Russia

Russia’s foreign currency regulations are extensive and complex, and provide numerous penalties for violations. These penalties apply to foreigners visiting Russia who, in case of the failure to submit proper documents to Customs authorities upon arrival, can be banned from carrying out of Russia even their own money. It is important to be aware of the procedure for proper currency registration with Customs authorities, which should be implemented by U.S. and other foreign travellers upon their arrival in Russia.

U.S. businesspeople travelling to Russia should be prepared to make most local payments in cash. Credit card payments for purchases of goods and services are available in many hotels, restaurants, and shops in Moscow and St. Petersburg, but may not be in other cities.

Therefore, it is important to bring cash to Russia and properly register it with local Customs authorities. Ways of getting cash from abroad while the traveller is already in Russia are limited and costly. One can withdraw cash from one’s own bank account in a foreign bank by using cash machines that are available in Moscow and other big cities.

International money transfer agents, such as Western Union, MoneyGram, and (in the near future) RIA Express can transfer money from the United States or Europe almost instantly, but such services are relatively expensive.

Wire transfer to a bank account requires having an account in a Russian bank and cannot be considered as a good alternative for short-term visitors. Incoming wire transfer fees are 1-3 percent of the amount wired and can take several days to clear.

Therefore, bringing in cash in Russia is the easiest and least expensive way. However, U.S. travellers should be aware of the following currency regulation requirements in order to avoid potential complications or problems.

The Customs declaration should be presented to Customs authorities at the port of entry after passport control and after baggage claim procedures.

It is important that the declaration be reviewed and stamped by Customs authorities. Since the ‘Green Corridor’ is for Customs free entry, it is highly recommended to go through the ‘Red Corridor.’

Exercise 14.Read the text again and find the Russian equivalents for: extensive currency regulations; penalties for violations; failure to submit proper documents; proper currency registration; to make most local payments with cash; credit card payments; cash machines; to withdraw cash; to transfer money; currency regulation requirements; wire transfer fees; cash operations; port of entry; personal checks; bank account.

Exercise 15.Translate into English.

Санкции за нарушения; меры наказания; таможенные органы; надлежащая регистрация; наличные деньги; платежи по кредитным картам; покупка товаров и услуг; местные таможенные органы; ограниченный характер; снять наличные деньги со своего банковского счета; банкоматы; проценты от суммы сделки; дорожные чеки; региональные отделения банков; определенная плата; представительство в России; международные денежные переводы; хорошая альтернатива; дополнительная плата.


Talking Points

Exercise 16. Choose one of the points below to make a short talk on:

- the necessary precautionary measures taken by the Customs authorities;

- a usual procedure after discovering a Customs offence;

- Customs offences punishable only by a small fine.

Exercise 17.Summarize the main points of Texts 1-3 making use of the language box below.

Summing (it) up ... To sum up, I’d like ... The text gives/ covers/ presents ... The main points briefly ... And finally ...  


Focus on Grammar

Exercise 18. Fill in the gaps in the following sentences. Express possibility or probability.

1. Detained articles _______ have been collected by the passenger on his way back.

2. The Customs officer ________ have had a reason to believe that the passenger was a smuggler.

3. A person who is found guilty of smuggling _________ be punished by a fine or taken to Court.

4. They ________ be carrying out a personal search now.

5. The protocol of the search ________ have been signed by the person accused, then the search was carried out.

6. The passenger ________ fill in a declaration form.

Exercise 19. Translate the sentences into Russian.

1. The vessel’s crew must perform regular security checks and shipboard inspections throughout the duration of the port call.

2. All points of entry aboard the vessel must be locked.

3. The vessel must maintain a good lookout for approaching small boats.

4. Tobacco product packages intended for export are to be clearly labeled for export.

5. What is most important in counter-terrorism measures is to prevent occurrence of an attack.

Exercise 20. Choose the necessary Modal verb or its equivalent. Translate into Russian:

is to be marked; were to be; ought to have done; needn’t hurry; couldn’t prove; must be warned; is to deliver; should be landed


1. The company _______ the goods in April.

2. The equipment _______ in accordance with the Contract conditions.

3. They all _________ the exercises to this lesson already.

4. You ______, the train leaves at ten fifteen, and now it is only half past nine.

5. He _______ that he was innocent.

6. Preventive-men knew where the smuggled goods ______.

7. Crew going ashore _______ that if they choose to have contact with the local people, they _______ very careful not to be connected with illegal drug activities.

Exercise 21.Translate into English.

1. Если вес вашего багажа превышает норму, вам придется заплатить пошлину.

2. Вам не надо указывать данные вещи в декларации.

3. Как называется журнал, который вы просматриваете?

4. Досмотр багажа обычно занимает немного времени.

5. Этот человек очень хорошо говорит по-английски, но мне трудно понимать его, так как он говорит очень быстро.

6. Позвони на вокзал, пожалуйста, и узнай, когда приходит поезд из Ростова.

7. Ваша ручная кладь может быть досмотрена на сканирующем устройстве.

Exercise 22. Insert Modal verbs may or can.

1. You _______ come in when you have taken off your boots.

2. I don’t think I _______ be here by eleven o’clock tomorrow.

3._______ you see anything in the darkness?

4. You __________ go when you have finished your compositions.

5. What shall we do if the train is late? It _______ be late, you know, after the terrible snowstorms we’ve had.

6. When _______ you come and see me? – Let me see, I ________ not come tomorrow, for I must be at the meeting, but on Sunday I’ll find time.

7. I ________ finish the work tomorrow if no one bothers me anymore.

8. _______we come and see you next Sunday at three o’clock in the afternoon?

Exercise 23. Use Modal verb to be able to instead of can (could) where necessary.

1. I can give you my book for a couple of days (after I have read it).

2. He can ski (for ten years).

3. We knew that she could swim (since childhood).

4. I could not solve the problem (before he explained it to me).

5. They can (never) appreciate your kindness.

7. I was sure you could translate that article (after you had translated so many texts).

8. You can go to the country (when you have passed your last examination).

9. We can pass to the next exercise (when we have done this one).

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