Russia-based marketplaces have offered to pay Russian Post for delivery and warehouse rental in place of a 0.5% levy on their turnover, as has been demanded by the state-controlled monopoly, business daily Vedomosti reports.

In May 2023, Russian Post asked the Russian Ministry of Digital Economy to introduce an “infrastructure levy” of 0.5% on the quarterly turnover of marketplaces, classifieds and other e-commerce portals with annual revenue of more than RUB1.0 billion ($10.1 million U.S.). Russian Post argued that this would allow it to support the loss-making branches in remote areas of the country. In July, the Ministry confirmed it was looking into the issue. If introduced, it is estimated that the levy would cost marketplaces about RUB28 billion per annum.

Hence, they have offered an alternative: paying Russian Post for such services as long-distance delivery and warehouse rental.

As a condition, Russian Post wants to secure its status as a “federally guaranteed supplier of e-commerce goods”, which obliges it “to ensure the equal availability of goods and their guaranteed delivery” throughout Russia.

The talks are proceeding with difficulty, according to Vedomosti, citing sources familiar with the matter. The marketplaces, which have their own delivery services, don’t like the idea of having to pay a competitor. However, Yandex Market has already started using Russian Post to make deliveries in remote locations where the latter is the only operator.

Although the services that Russian Post can provide to marketplaces for a fee have not yet been approved, it is expected that a deal will be struck in September.

Meanwhile, leading Russia-based horizontal Avito and Russian Post have launched a pilot to enable buyers to pay on delivery at post offices for goods ordered via the Avito Delivery service. On accepting the goods, the buyer will have to pay a commission of 2.1% of the total value of the goods to Russian Post — on top of the delivery fee levied by Avito Delivery. This could be viewed as a way of passing on the expense of dealing with Russian Post to the consumer.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Related Articles