Shuttle trading (Russian for shuttle trader: Russian: челнок, chelnok, pl. Russian: челноки chelnoki) is a practice of the second economy of the Soviet Union in which traders shuttle backwards and forwards across the country buying goods from cheap sources at major port cities or outside Soviet Union and selling them in the interior. One of the larger commodities traded in this way is cars. Originated during the perestroika times, it extended well beyond time of the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The OECD defines shuttle trade as the activity in which individual entrepreneurs buy goods abroad and import them for resale in street markets or small shops. Often the goods are imported without full declaration in order to avoid import duties.
- Jamestown.org article
- OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms definition
- Zabyelina, Y. (2012). “Costs and Benefits of Informal Economy: Shuttle Trade and Crime at Cherkizovsky Market.” Global Crime, Volume 13, No. 2, pp. 95-108.
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