Great thread, @mdsltd ! Thanks for the insight.
I'm exploring opportunities in Russia and there are several dynamics in play. Demand is huge, but that's partially driven by the fact that the Russian carriers bailed on the Apple subsidy model, so legitimate non-gray market units can only be purchased through Svyaznoy and a few others. Customs, however, is the real beast! Apparently, you need to be an authorized dealer/distributor (which has to be documented) to ship to/import into Russia - period! Have you encountered this as an authorized distributor and have you had any dealings with Russia? We'd like to start sourcing Apple, Samsung, Nokia, etc., but are still working or way through the customs process.
Unfortunately Russia is a very difficult country to import into. There are no official iPhone wholesalers therefore the paperwork required wouldnt be available. The request we receive are for companies requesting delivery to one of the nordic countries they then tend to smuggle the goods into Russia. As a legitiamte company we dont have anything to do with these sort of deals or the people that are behind them! I cant help further Im afraid as we dont have any delaing with Russian buyers. Good luck!