Russian Court Prevents Import Of Bitcoin Mining Rigs

News | June 11, 2018 By:

Tobolsk, a city in Western Russia, has banned the importation of cryptocurrency mining equipment.

According to local media, the ban went into effect after a Russian cryptocurrency miner got into trouble with the customs office when trying to import mining equipment purchased online for personal use.

“The resident of the city of Tobolsk purchased server equipment for his own needs from an online store,” reads an official statement from the Federal Customs Service of Russia. “The citizen declared the mining equipment are intended for personal use, for mathematical and scientific calculations.”

The customs department said that commodities, such as crypto mining equipment, are subject to measures of non-tariff regulation of the Eurasian Economic Commission. Non-tariff measures (NTM) are trade barriers that restrict imports or exports of goods or services through mechanisms other than the simple imposition of tariffs.

Originally, the Federal Customs Service informed the miner that in order to successfully import the equipment, he would have to “provide additional permits: information about the notification or the conclusion issued by the FSB [Federal Security Service] of Russia.” However, the customs office did not receive these documents so it refused to clear the import.

In response, the citizen appealed to the Tobolsk city court, arguing that the primary purpose of the equipment was to solve equations, and the cryptocurrency was just an incidental byproduct. The customs department said the citizen’s argument was not accepted by the court since statutory restrictions on imports do not depend on those purposes that are declared by an individual at the time of importation.

“The court found lawful the decision of the Tobolsk customs post of the Tyumen customs office to refuse the import of the equipment for cryptocurrency mining,” the customs department said.