iPad Now Exempted from 5% Import Duty in Russia

The Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) has received a number of complaints from a several international tablet makers regarding 5% import duty on tablet devices in the country. However, the authority seems to be convinced enough by Apple to relax rules on import iPad, with no signs of reclassifying competitor devices, reports Bloomberg.

Gazetta, a Russian news site explains the situation rather explicitly. The news site reports that the FCS received requests to reclassify two Apple products after it had originally said that “tablet computers from Apple are classified as electronic computers of tablet type, despite the fact that they have a GPS system inside,” as per reported on February 14, 2012.

Being classified as radio navigation equipment, the GPS function found in the tablet was the major reason for import duties on iPad. Initially, tablet devices were ranked as simple computers, and were exempted from import tax.

The FCS has finally decided to group iPad as a simple computer, which means that it is no more subject to import duty.

This is certainly a massive blow for the rival tablet makers. Samsung’s Russian office has already requested for an explanation from the agency over its decision, while Acer’s local office says that it is waiting for a confirmation from the customs office regarding the exemption offered to Apple devices over import duty.

This is what Acer’s spokesman said over the issue:

“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.”

The FCS, on the other hand, said that it will thoroughly consider the customs apps of Apple’s tablet rivals and may likely to classify them as ‘simple computers’ later, until then the exemption will be limited to Apple’s devices.

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