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FSB notification process importing encrypted goods into Russia

Russia differs from most of Europe and the rest of the world with regard to custom clearance processes. For this reason, importers need to familiarize themselves with the import process, particularly for encrypted goods.

In 2010, Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan formed a customs union that later evolved into the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and expanded to include Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. The EAEU’s primary goals are to create a unified labor market and impose a universal tariff on goods entering the region. Besides this, the EAEU also implemented a standard set of non-tariff restrictions requiring international companies to obtain licenses before importing specific kinds of merchandise from countries outside the EAEU.

Although it’s no longer necessary to obtain an import license for cryptographic goods from the FSB, you must notify the Center for Licensing, Certification, and State Information Protection (CLCSP) of your intent.

Products that require FSB notification

The FSB considers goods that contain any of the following components to be cryptographic.

  • Products that include cryptographic components like smartphones, computers, and software products.
  • Products that provide some form of encryption but have limited functionality. This category includes access control mechanisms such as personal identification numbers, passwords, and other user access control features.
  • Components of software operations systems whose cryptographic capabilities users can not change or software products meant to be installed by users without significant support from the supplier.
  • Personal smart cards
  • Items whose cryptographic capabilities are restricted to usage on specific equipment or systems.
  • Reception equipment for radio broadcasting and commercial television. This includes any commercial equipment for broadcasting across a limited geographical area without digital channel encryption. This doesn’t include situations where encryption is used only to control video or audio channels or to protect information exchanges related to the program.
  • Any equipment whose encryption capabilities are not available to users.
  • Cryptographic equipment that is specifically designed and restricted for use in financial and banking transactions. This includes payments and fees for credit financing and transportation services.
  • Portable or mobile radio devices for civilian applications like cellular radio communication
  • Wireless electronic radio equipment
  • Encryption methods for protecting information and telecommunications systems and other communications networks.
  • Goods whose cryptographic functions have been disabled by the manufacturer.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if the importing goods require an FSB notification. The list of products for which a notification document is needed is broad, and it includes many high-end devices, computers, mobile phones, servers, RFID tags, and so on. Although tariff codes will help you quickly identify products that must receive FSB approval before import, they aren’t enough. Sometimes, a product will still require notification even if it does not appear on the list. To ensure compliance, you should provide the product’s name and decryption for a comprehensive evaluation

How to submit the FSB notification

There are two main ways to submit your documents for FSB notification. First, the manufacturer may submit the documentation on their own products.

Note: the manufacturer can only submit product documentation if it is registered as a legal entity on the territory of the EAC. The company cannot lodge a notification if it is not registered in the EAC member states’ territory. Foreign companies must hire a representative entity to apply on their behalf.

If the importer is not the manufacturer of the goods in question, he/she must have an apostille or be legalized by the Russian consulate with the manufacturer’s authorization.

Step 1: fill the notification form by the instructions on the FSB website. If your company doesn’t have a legal entity in Russia, you will have to operate through an agent or distributor.

Note: your representative will need Powers of Attorney to help with the notification registration process. The POA should have an apostil, and it should be notarized.

Step3: After you’ve filled the application, forward it to the FSB CLCSSP (center for licensing Certification and state secrets protection).

Applying for the ministry of industry and trade license

Step 1

Check the product’s HS code. If it appears in chapter 2.19 of the “regulatory laws in the field of non-tariff regulation,” continue to step 2.

Step 2: Review the information at

Step3: fill the application presented on the website above. If the online form doesn’t work, you may mail the application to the following address: 109074.


You must attach the following documents to your application.  a copy of a valid sales/purchase contract, along with supporting documents verified by the official stamp of the company and applicant’s signature. all attachments should have the label “this copy is verified.”

Step 3:  attach a copy of the firm’s certificate of registration with a tax body.

Print the payment form and pay 7500 rubles (about $120) for government fees.

Step 4: if you intend to sell high-frequency equipment, you will need a statement from the state radio frequency center, and a Roskomnadzor permit.

Roskomnadzor temporary import

You’ll need this license if you’re planning to import encrypted goods for an exhibition/presentation or to carry out tests and research.

Your goods may be tested in-country. Products that pass this test are added to the Roskomnadzor database, and they are issued a temporary import clearance.

Why your application may be denied

There are several reasons why your application may be declined. These include; 

  • The absence of compulsory supporting documentation
  • Improperly executed powers of attorney.
  • Incorrectly specified protocols, codes, or algorithms used for encryption.

Essential aspects of the FSB notification process

  • FSS Notifications are recognized in all member states of the customs unions
  • The notification may provide information either on a single product or on a group of related products with similar cryptographic features.
  • The notification allows any entity to move cryptographic goods across the customs union order in any amount with no need for repetitive filings.
  • You may only lodge your application with the body authorized to handle the request (the Centre for Licensing, Certification, and State Secret Protection of Russian Federal State Secrets).
  • Once notifications have been registered, they are published at the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC).

Importing into Russia may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. An Importer of Record (IOR) service will help you get your goods into the country with no issues at all. If you’re thinking of hiring a third-party representative, schedule a meeting. We have a local presence in the country, and we would love to help you meet all necessary compliance requirements.

How can we help you?

Discover our range of fully compliant solutions of for expert help, please get in touch with us at Blackthorne.