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New tax laws could force 80 percent of
the country's wine importers to flee the Russian market, experts have
Russia's Finance Ministry ruled in
early May that foreign companies would be banned from using special
tax breaks for “protected wines,” the Kommersant newspaper
The law had allowed wines with a
protected appellation or designation of origin from anywhere in the
world to enjoy reduced excise rates.
Now, the special rates will apply
exclusively to Russian firms, Kommersant reported.
Dmitry Syrykh, the owner of the Moreau
wine company, said that the move could paralyze the Russian wine
market. "Eighty percent of companies could end up leaving the
market, which would all but put a stop to imports,” he told the
Foreign companies set to lose their
special tax status would not only be forced to pay more, but would
also expected to make back payments from the start of 2016, several
unnamed sources told the newspaper.
Excise tax lifted 18 rubles ($0.30)
per liter for wine and 36 rubles ($0.63) per liter for sparking wine
at the start of 2017. Protected wines saw their tax rates remain
unchanged from 2016, where it stood at 5 rubles per liter. Rates for
sparkling wines rose from 13 to 14 rubles per liter.