Importance The article focuses on customs duties as a tool of the customs tariff policy and source of revenue for the Federal budget of the Russian Federation. Objectives The research reveals the fiscal meaning of import and export duties in modern Russia. Methods The research relies upon the systems approach, formal logic and statistical data study. Results I review functions of customs duties in the contemporary world and demonstrate that customs duties cannot be an effective protection. The article unfolds the economic substance of export duties as a special tool of the national trade policy. I pinpoint those factors that strengthen the fiscal function of customs duties in modern Russia. The article presents statistical data on revenue for the Federal budget from customs duties in absolute and relative values. I also refer to the effect of export and import duties on the Federal budget sustainability. Conclusions Customs duties have lost their fiscal significance, generating unsubstantial amounts of respective budgetary revenue worldwide. In the mean time, customs duties continue to be an important source of revenue for the Federal budget in Russia, with export duties on hydrocarbons accounting for a substantial percentage of the revenue, rather than import duties. Russia's economic growth will make it more sustainable.
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