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Russia launchs online exports of books, milk, radios

Russia launchs online exports of books, milk, radios

MOSCOW: The government’s attempt to hike the customs duty for foreign goods that Russians buy online caused uproar earlier this year. Citizens can buy Books, milk and Radios online.

But it is telling that no one mentioned things that Russians sell on the Internet.

Russia’s cross-border exports are still in their infancy, e-commerce professionals say, with bureaucratic and customs hurdles mostly to blame.

Things are starting to turn, however, thanks to a renewed push from online retailers and reserved enthusiasm on the part of officials.

Experts polled by The Moscow Times said it was too early to say what exactly Russia has to offer to the global clientele of online retail stores beyond the requisite souvenirs, books and historical memorabilia.

But Russian small and midsized businesses have the capacity to produce world-class items in a wide range of goods, including surprising ones, said Vladimir Dolgov, the head of eBay Russia.

“Sometimes I regret we cannot sell oil and gas on eBay,” he said in an interview. “But we’ll make do with other stuff.”