Eurasian Economic Union lifts duties for light helicopters

Zero import duties will effect R44 and R66 light helicopters as well as Bell-505 (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

Customs duties in the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) on helicopters with empty weight of up to 1 ton have been temporarily lifted. This decision was adopted by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in August. The new rules will take effect in September.

Zero duty rate will be effective until the end of 2017, the Minister of EEC trade Veronica Nikishina stressed that today there was no production of helicopters weighing up to 1 ton in the countries of the union and the new rules will create “more favorable conditions for the general aviation sector, will allow to compete more effectively at the price, release funds for investment, reduce the debt burden. Jet Transfer, the official Bell Helicopter representative in Russia, said its lightweight single-engine Bell-505 falls under the up to 1 ton category. “Zero import duties reducing the size of VAT payable will lead to the helicopter final cost reduction for the Russian customers by 15%”, – said Alexander Evdokimov, Jet Transfer CEO. Zero duty will also be applicable for light single-engine helicopters Robinson R44/66.

EEC representatives said that the duties have been lifted only for a while due to the fact that now the countries of the union are “preparing to produce analogous product”. In April 2015 it became known that Ural Works of Civil Aviation from Russian city of Yekaterinburg plans to localize assembly of Bell-505, although later it began the assembly Bell-407 model.  I think as soon as Bell-505 is certified, the process of signing of the license agreement for the assembly will begin immediately”, Evdokimov explained earlier. According to the top manager, customers from Russia and the CIS ordered 12 Bell-505 last May (including UWCA contract for three helicopters of the type). It is expected that the Russian certificate for the helicopter is issued by June 2017, when the country receives the first helicopter of this type.

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