Local laws and customs
Remember, the local laws apply to you as a visitor and it is your responsibility to follow them. Be sensitive to local customs, traditions and practices as your behaviour may be seen as improper, hostile or even illegal.
Illegal drug use (no matter what the drug) carries stiff penalties, including long prison terms for possession of drugs.
Homosexuality is legal in the Russian Federation, but there is still a degree of intolerance among some sections of the population; be careful about public displays of affection. A law banning the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” entered into force in June 2013; it is unclear how this law will be applied, but it includes tougher penalties for non-Russians including arrest, fines and deportation.
You can import up to 10,000 US dollars (or equivalent) into the country and export foreign currency up to the equivalent of 10,000 US dollars from the Russian Federation without declaring it.
If you complete a declaration make sure the form is stamped by a Customs official at your port of entry, otherwise your foreign currency and non-declared items may be confiscated when you leave the Russian Federation and you may be fined.
There are strict regulations governing the export from the Russian Federation of antiques, icons, medals, artwork and other items of historical significance. This includes modern art and even posters if they are particularly rare or valuable. You must get approval from the Ministry of Culture.
For further information visit the website of the Russian Federal Customs Service.
Legislation came into force on 4 August 2014 regarding Russian nationals who are also citizens of other countries. Russian passport holders must inform the Russian authorities of the other passports they hold. If you hold both Irish and Russian citizenship you should take legal advice and/ or contact the relevant Russian authority (the nearest Russian Embassy if you are not in the Russian Federation or your local Migration office if you are in the Russian Federation) to find out how the legislation might impact you.
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months after the expiry date of your visa.
If you’re planning to drive in the Russian Federation, you should be extremely careful. The harsh winter from November to March can make road conditions very difficult, particularly outside towns and cities.
If you want to drive:
- Bring your full Irish driving license and international driving permit, and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law and you risk being detained, fined or banned from driving if caught. There is a zero tolerance policy on drink-driving in the Russian Federation
- Be aware of the Russian Federation’s traffic laws, such as speed limits
- Keep your vehicle doors locked and your bags kept out of sight to prevent opportunistic bag-snatching if you’re stopped at traffic lights
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
During the harsh winter months pavements can become extremely icy so good walking shoes are essential.
If you want to travel by taxi while in the Russian Federation, we advise you to book an official taxi service through your hotel and agree on the price of the journey in advance.
If you intend to travel to or within the Russian Federation, avoid travelling on airlines that fall under the EU operating ban.
Tue, 28 Feb 2017 17:05:53 GMT