Russia lifts import duties for Superjet 100 rivals

Saratov Airlines Embraer 195 One of two Embraers operated by Saratov Airlines (Photo by Leonid Faerberg / Transport-Photo.com)

Passenger aircraft with a 51-300-seat capacity and an empty weight of between 20 and 90 tonnes may be imported into Russia free of customs duty, according to the Eurasian Economic Commission’s amendments to the rules that regulate customs policy for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The duty-free import now covers the 51-109-seat aircraft niche, occupied in Russia by the Sukhoi Superjet 100. This facilitates penetration of the SSJ 100’s rivals, the Embraer E-Jet family and Bombardier CRJ 700, into the Russian market. As for now the Russian airline don’t operate CRJ700, the only domestic operator of E-Jets, Saratov Airlines, uses two E190s.

The duty-free regime will be effective until the end of 2023. Aircraft imported under these conditions may be operated both inside and outside the Eurasian Economic Union.

The original edition of the rule stated that aircraft with a seating capacity of 51-300 may be imported on a duty-free basis only until June 1, 2014. From the end of that period to June 30, 2019, the duty-free regime was supposed to apply only to 110-300-seat aircraft.

Until now, the rules were effective only for Belarus and Kazakhstan. However, according to the amendment, the policy spreads to the entire territory of the EEU, which also includes Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

According to the current Customs Commodity Code, wide-body long-haul aircraft with up to 300 seats and an empty weight of up to 90 tonnes are subject to a 10.6% customs duty; a 16.8% duty applies to narrow-body and regional aircraft with a seating capacity smaller than 51. Aircraft with any number of seats weighing 90-120 tonnes may be imported duty-free.

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