Following the introduction of so-called ‘utilisation’ or recycling fees on imported vehicles by Russia and Ukraine, the Belarusian government may also now impose such fees on imported cars, according to representatives of the Belarusian Automobile Association (BAA). If the fees were implemented under the current tariff regime, the prices of new vehicles in the country would rise between $800-3,500 each, while used cars would see increases of $5,000-21,000 per vehicle.
As reported in May, the Russian Ministry of Industry and Commerce was proposing to extend the country’s recycling charge for imported vehicles – which generally hits manufacturers without local production in Russia – to include Belarus and Kazakhstan, which joined a Customs Union with the Russian Federation in 2010.
"We know that there exists some document of the Russian authorities, which, in particular, [states] that both Belarus and Kazakhstan should introduce utilisation fees under its obligations in the Customs Union,” said Sergei Mihnevich, chairman of the BAA. “We believe that law will be adopted anyway; it's only a matter of time." [sam_ad id=6 codes='true']
Ukraine introduced its own fee last month.
In parallel with the introduction of the utilisation fee, Belarus could reduce existing tariffs on automotive vehicle imports, something that could play a crucial role in the future development of logistics in the country.
"We strongly hope that in the case of the introduction of recycling fees, Belarus will revise tariffs, which currently are much higher than in Russia,” said Mihnevich. “If this happens, the prices for imported cars [after the recycling fee] will rise slightly, within 5%.
“If it does not revise the import tariffs, then the car prices will rise very high [see table] and a large number of distributors are likely to close their operations in the country, or will go into the shade," he added, referring to the possibility of importing cars illegally.
|Estimated Impact of recycling fee on vehicle imports to Belarus|
|New vehicles||Three years or older|
|up to 2 litre engine||$838||$5,163|
|2-3.4 litre engine||$1,663||$10,075|
|3.5 litre engine||$3,438||$21,881|
Source: Belorusian Automobile Association