Whilst a number of international tablet makers have complained to the Russian Federal Customs Service (FCS) over a 5% import duty on tablet devices, the authority appears to have relaxed rules on imports of Apple’s iPad without reclassifying rival devices, Bloomberg has been revealed.
Russian news site Gazetta sheds more light on the situation, reporting 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 noted in a report from February 14, 2012.
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The GPS function within the tablet led to import duties on the iPad, as it is classified as radio navigation equipment. Before, tablets were classified as simple computers, and were not subject to an import tax.
However, today the FCS decided to reclassify the iPad as a simple computer.
Samsung’s Russian office has already sought an explanation from the agency, with Acer’s local office saying that it is awaiting confirmation rom the customs office about the cancelation of import duty on Apple devices.
Acer’s spokesman said:
“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 has said that it will look into the customs applications of Apple’s tablet rivals and may consider including their products in the ‘simple computers’ list, but for now it’s just Apple.