Bill to Tax Foreign Films Withdrawn

Oct. 03 2013 — 00:00
Hollywood's increasing presence in the Russian market has affected local fare, which has seen its share decline in recent years. Marco Sparmberg

A bill calling for movie theaters that show foreign films to be charged value-added tax has been withdrawn from the State Duma by its own authors, a news report said Wednesday.

Sergei Zheleznyak, a Duma deputy for United Russia, submitted the bill in December 2012 with the intention of protecting Russia's film industry.

Removal of the tax benefit would cost domestic cinemas 6 billion rubles ($187 million) annually. In 2012 cinemas in Russia and the former Soviet republics  excluding Ukraine, took in 39.4 billion rubles, kinometro.ru reported. Of that sum, 33.3 billion rubles came from foreign films.

However, all nine United Russia deputies who supported the bill removed their signatures in September after several Duma committees criticized it, Kommersant reported.

The bill was set for its first reading in the Fall session, but in June it got a negative write up from the Duma's Culture Committee, which is headed by film director Stanislav Govorukhin.

Another bone of contention is that the WTO forbids members from imposing discriminatory tax rates on foreign products. Zheleznyak said that during the government's consideration of the bill, it came to the Duma's attention that Turkey had tried to introduce different tax rates from domestic and foreign films several years ago and the decision was assailed by the WTO.

Crimea’s Sunken Collection of Soviet Affection
The Soviet Union was less than a year dead when scuba diver Vladimir Broumensky first created the underwater museum of sunken sculptures and busts off ...
Weekend in Moscow: Moscow Marathon, a Science Festival for Kids and More
It's the weekend of the Moscow Marathon, and your support would be much appreciated as runners battle the 42.2 course which spans some ...
Weekend in Moscow: Moscow Marathon, a Science Festival for Kids and More
It's the weekend of the Moscow Marathon, and your support ...
No End In Sight for Russia's Baltic Tit-for-Tat
Over the past two years, the Russian military and the Western NATO military alliance have watched each other ...