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New legislation has been brought in ahead of Russia hosting this summer's football World Cup

Premier Tax Free makes move into Russian market

Premier Tax Free, the Ireland-headquartered specialist in multi-currency payment processing and the management of tax-free shopping for international tourists, has broken into the Russian market for the first time.

The company has just issued, on 11 April, its first Electronic Tax Free Form in Russia, to a store owned by Bosco di Celiegi Group in central Moscow.

This follows the passing of new legislation in Russia which allows shoppers from outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) to save up to 18% when spending a minimum of 10,000 Roubles ($160) on a range of goods, including fashion, technology and jewellery.

The Russian government brought in the legislation as part of its move to promote tourism for the upcoming FIFA World Cup, where it’s estimated over one million fans will travel to the country’s capital.

Premier Tax Free is part of the Fintrax Group, which supports over 300,000 merchants and 100 partner banks in five continents, offering over 600 tax-free refund points, the most of any provider.

Capitalising on Chinese tourists

Fintrax Group director of new markets worldwide Gary Byrne said: “According to recent data, one million Chinese tourists visited Russia in 2016 where they spent $2bn, highlighting the scale of the tax-free market now this legislation is in place.

“Premier Tax Free has been instrumental in the launch of the tax-free shopping services now available, through working closely with the government, regulators and potential merchants for almost two years. Following issuing this Electronic Tax Free Form, our innovative Premier Online VAT refund system will be rolled out to qualifying merchants on a daily basis.”

Premier Tax Free CEO Patrick Waldron added: “We are excited about the opportunities and products that we will be able to develop with key Russian stakeholders and pioneers within the digital payment space, to further enhance the shopping opportunities available to the international traveller.”

To coincide with the move to the new market, Premier Tax Free has appointed Andrey Silantiev as the country manager for Russia. He joins from Deloitte and will have responsibility for providing on-the-ground support to merchants.

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