Russia Has Become More Bizav-Friendly, Says RUBAA

 - September 24, 2012, 6:47 AM
This Gulfstream GIV-SP has been one of a relatively small number of foreign-made business jets registered in Russia, but Russian buyers are finding it easier to register aircraft at home following recent relaxation of import duty rules.

The Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA) has said that conditions for importing foreign-manufactured aircraft into the country have become significantly easier, removing one of key remaining barriers to the industry growth in this potentially huge market. Prohibitive customs duties and burdensome bureaucracy have resulted in the majority of these aircraft being registered outside Russia, but, according to local consultants Zest, the share of Russian-registered aircraft has increased from 10 percent to 30 percent over the past three years.

According to RUBAA, Russian customs rules have been reformed so that import taxes have been removed entirely from aircraft with fewer than 50 seats and with an operating empty weight of between 2 and 20 metric tons (4,400 pounds to 44,092 pounds). 

Another improvement has resulted from Russia signing up to the Cape Town Convention covering aircraft registration and title procedures. Russian customs authorities also have adopted a new rule that allows for the temporary importation of foreign aircraft into Russia for up to 183 days.

“Regardless of how fiercely we may compete between ourselves in open-market conditions, we [RUBAA members] have been trying to meet regularly and find ways how to solve common problems,” RUBAA vice president Eugeny Bakhtin told AIN. The executive, who is also president of Russian FBO and service group Avcom, explained the association has been drafting proposed rule changes for consideration by Russian authorities in the hope of fast-tracking further reforms. The group is now focusing on easing importation rules for light aircraft.