The Russian government plans to abolish duties on imported Champagne and other sparkling wines during 2017 and 2018, through the period when Russia will be hosting both the 2017 FIFA Confederation Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The government is drawing up a list of wine brands whose import in the next year and a half will not attract any duties, or the need for licensing, certification and registration.
This should provide significant savings to the selected brands, who will no longer have to navigate the onerous Russian bureaucracy normally associated with wine imports.
Priority will be given to those brands have sponsorship agreements with the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), along with other brands from the premium and luxury segments of the market, such as Champagne Taittinger. The official list will be complete by the end of current month.
The measures should have a significant impact on sales. For example, Taittinger expects to export around 55,000 bottles of Champagne to Russia this year, while their exports in 2018 should exceed 100,000 bottles.
Some leading Russian wine producers and importers such as Vinodelie and Vkysnya Vina have criticised the move, as being unfair competition. They believe it will further erode Russia’s wine business.