The Russian Government Has Approved the Rates for the Trailer Disposal Charge
On 6 February 2016, the Russian Government adopted a Resolution regarding the disposal charge with respect to mechanical vehicles and trailers, setting forth the ratios required to calculate the amount of the charge (Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation No. 81 dated 6 February 2016, hereinafter – Resolution No. 81).
The obligation to pay the disposal charge on the trailers imported into Russia or manufactured within its territory was introduced on 29 December 2015 after long debates in the media, as a result of supplementing the Federal Law “On Production and Consumer Waste” (Art. 24.1(1)).
In the past, the charge applied to different categories of vehicles, dump trucks and chassis. Now different types of construction and agricultural vehicles are also subject to the charge. We however will analyze the disposal charge in regard of the trailers only.
Prior to the adoption of Resolution No. 81, there were no fixed rates for the charge, which effectively made it impossible to pay it. At the same time, however, payment of the charge was mandatory as a condition for releasing trailers for commercial use in the territory of Russia and their registration. In case of imports, the charge was to be paid at the border.
The ratio for the charge on new trailers varies from 2.2 to 2.7; on more than three-year-old trailers– from 10 to 11.9. The base rate to be multiplied by the respective ratio is RUB 150,000. Thus, the minimum charge on a trailer will amount to RUB 330,000; or over RUB 1.5 million for used trailers – which basically makes imports of used trailers unprofitable.
2. WHEN SHOULD THE CHARGE BE PAID?
Before Resolution No. 81 was adopted, media mentioned that the obligation to pay the charge would apply starting from 1 January 2016. There was also information that some customs offices were postponing the release of trailers, relying on the absence of rates to calculate the charge.
Here, Resolution No. 81 itself states that it enters into full force and effect upon the date of publication. The Resolution was published at the legal information portal pravo.gov.ru on 10 February 2016. Therefore, the importers and manufacturers of trailers in Russia will have to pay the charge only from that point (10 February 2016) on.
A different interpretation would lead to retroactive application of the law that worsens the position of the payer of the charge, which we believe to be inconsistent with the constitutional principles.
The manufacturers and importers have been obliged to pay the disposal charge on trailers from 10 February 2016.
In our view, according retroactive effect to the charge rates is illegal. In case of any claims by the customs or registering authorities for payment of the charge for previous periods, we believe that it is possible – subject to the specific circumstances of the case – to apply for judicial remedies.