September 23, 2014 14:20

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Apple tablet import duties cancelled, competitors demand explanations

6.03.12 17:15    By Anastasia Matveeva, edited by Karina Ayvazova

FCS decided to reclassify Apple tablets into simple computers

FCS decided to reclassify Apple tablets into simple computers   Photo: ITAR-TASS


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International producers of tablet computers have demanded explanations from the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) concerning cancellation of customs duties on Apple tablets. Other gadgets similar to iPads are charged 5% taxes when imported to Russia.

Samsung Electronics Russian office says that it had already addressed the FCS. The company is waiting for explanation from the agency. Acer Russian office said they are waiting an official confirmation from the customs office about the cancelation of duties on Apple products.

"There has not been an official confirmation of that yet. But if this information is true, we will demand explanations from the FCS and we will seek cancellation of customs duties on our tablet computers," Acer spokesman said.

Apple Russian office could not comment immediately.

A source from one of the companies calls such decision of the customs service a direct violation of Russian laws and international standards. "Giving preference violates the equal conditions for trade and prevents a competitive environment," he says.

As became known on Monday, the Russian customs service decided to exempt Apple tablets from the 5% import duty.

An FCS report from February 14, 2012 said that "tablet computers from Apple are classified as electronic computers of tablet type, despite the fact that they have a GPS system inside."

It was the GPS function which led to import duties on tablet computers, as they were classified as radio navigation equipment. Earlier, tablet computers were classified as simple computers and were not charged.

The FCS decided to reclassify Apple gadgets into simple computers.

The FCS press office said they received a recommendation to cancel import duties from two Apple products, but refused to answer why this does not include other companies' tablets.

A source from a Russian retail network says that the cancellation of duties for the iPad will have a negative impact on the electronics market.
"If the FCS does not change its position in the nearest future, the Federal Antimonopoly service will have to investigate this situation," he said.

The FCS says it is ready to study the customs applications of other tablet producers, giving consideration to including their products into the "simple computers" list.

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