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Old 21 Feb 2014
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'Importing' GPS devices into Russia

Whilst reviewing the website of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), I saw the following statement with regard to GPS devices:

"If you wish to import certain advanced electronic items (e.g. Global Positioning System instruments), you must get an operating licence from the Russian authorities before you travel. Check with the Embassy of the Russian Federation before your departure."

I haven't seen any reference to such a requirement on the HUBB so I am wondering whether this information is accurate, as I know that many of you travel through Russia with GPS devices. Can anyone shed any light on this reported requirement?
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Old 22 Feb 2014
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Search with the terms "GPS" and "Russia" on the HUBB. You will find that this was discussed a LONG time ago.
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Old 22 Feb 2014
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Originally Posted by Chris of Japan View Post
Search with the terms "GPS" and "Russia" on the HUBB. You will find that this was discussed a LONG time ago.
Thanks. I did that and came up with threads in 2004 and 2006. At that time, the general consensus appeared to be that, technically, GPS devices were illegal in Russia but, practically, the law wasn't enforced. Recommendations seemed to be to conceal the device at borders and, if asked about it by police inside the country, to refer to it as a compass. There were also comments that GPS devices were becoming more commonplace in Russia and were fitted to some models of new cars.

As those threads were at least 8 years ago, I'm assuming that the situation has probably improved and that GPS units are more commonplace and less likely to attract any problems. I hope that's the case.
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Old 22 Feb 2014
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Oddly Delorme put up a notice about registering inReach (SE) if travelling to Russia. Iridium have an office dealing with it
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Old 22 Feb 2014
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Travelling to the Russian Federation is not going back to the USSR!!

GPS is as common in Russia as it is for us.

SAT-Phones is another issue as the location of where the calls are made from is not traceble and therefore loved by certain organisations. Bringing our SAT-Phone into Russia never caused any problems or questions though, absolutely don't hide it entering the country.


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Old 22 Feb 2014
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Just to confirm what others have said, we (a group of three riders) took two Garmin GPS units into Russia in 2011 (mounted on the bikes, in plain view) and no one batted an eyelid.
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