Football fans face hidden costs and red tape shipping their flags and merchandise to the World Cup, warns international delivery expert ParcelHero.
Football fans shipping ahead items such as sports kits and club flags will need to take care to avoid being caught offside by Russian regulations. There are hidden costs and strict rules surrounding shipping items into Russia and delivering them into stadiums, warns the international delivery expert ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT, says if you are part of a group heading to Russia to enjoy the World Cup you can expect a great time, but also some unusual challenges!
Says David: ‘Some unexpected items have been banned from World Cup stadia this year – while it’s also easy to get red-carded by Russian customs if you don’t follow Russia’s strict duties regulations. Clearing Russian Customs isn’t a walk in Gorky Park.’
Warns David: ‘If you choose to send your supporter’s flags, kit, banners etc ahead by courier – perhaps because your items are over the luggage allowance, for a large supporters group or merchandise for sale at World Cup events – you must be prepared to tackle the strong defence that is Russian Customs.’
Reveals David: ‘The good news is that parcels that are worth less than €200 do not have to pay customs duties and fees when clearing customs. But be aware that if you are sending items on to a private Russian address there are many extra checks. While shipping items to business addresses is relatively easy, customs checks on goods shipped to Russian private addresses mean many items are significantly delayed. Many couriers, for this reason, won’t deliver to private addresses in the Russian Federation.’
And David cautions: ‘Even if you get your supporters kit, flags etc through Customs, that doesn’t mean they’re going to get into the Stadium. Visitors to the World Cup must sign up for a FAN ID: a personalised identification card, which gives visa-free entry to Russia during the tournament. But that’s only half the battle: visitors, even those holding a FAN ID, must be aware that there’s a long list of items they are not allowed to take into stadiums.’
Some unexpected items are banned from being taken into Russian stadiums include:
Adds David: ‘Delivering items into World Cup stadiums on match days is likely to be a slow procedure, for obvious security reasons. Match day deliveries are being organised by local logistics organising committees, who will oversee services for all organisations working directly with FIFA. Other organisations and groups can choose a logistics operator of their own, or work with official service provider Kuehne+Nagel.’
And there are other stadium delivery restrictions, David reveals. ‘For example, vans and trucks visiting stadiums on match days must have their cargo bay partitioned from the driver's cab. Importantly, passenger vehicles carrying light cargo can access stadiums, but only if they have a permit. Don’t forget, the driver and any accompanying passengers must be accredited.’
Match day courier deliveries to world cup stadiums must meet the following criteria:
Concludes David: ‘Just to stress, many of the restrictions we’ve looked at are specifically around forwarding football flags, kit and paraphernalia for supporters’ group etc and not for individual fans flying with just their own kit. It’s important travelling fans plan ahead though - and let’s hope they have good reason to stay right through to July 15th, when England play in the final…’