Russia Reduces Bizjet Import Tax

 - September 4, 2007, 11:24 AM

The Russian government has halved the import tax on larger business jets from 20 to 10 percent, according to the country’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. This reduction initially will apply to aircraft weighing between 15 and 20 metric tons (33,069 to 44,092 pounds), though Russian officials have indicated they intend to extend the tax break to smaller business aircraft and eventually scrap the import duty altogether. However, a government spokesman could not confirm the exact timetable for these subsequent changes. Business aircraft manufacturers and operators have long campaigned for the abolition of the tax, arguing that it has stifled business aviation growth in Russia. The tax has also encouraged wealthy Russians to register and base their aircraft offshore. Russian airframers are not currently producing any purpose-built business aircraft, leaving domestic customers little option but to buy foreign models or use converted Russian-made airliners.