Financial barrier to foreign-flagged yachts entering Russia removed

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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree abolishing customs security for the importation into Russia of motor and sailing yachts leased abroad by citizens of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The document will come into force on March 1. The text is available to the RBC.

The decree cancels customs duties for temporarily imported to Russia sailing and motor yachts, chartered under time-charter (with crew) or bareboat charter (without crew) and intended for non-commercial use.Sailing yachts with and without engine as well as motor yachts longer than 7.5 m with equipped decks and cabins fall under the decree. The measure is called to promote development of sailing and yacht tourism in Russia.

Entrance to Russia for yachts with foreign flags was theoretically open before, but the devil was in the details: earlier Russian citizens bringing in a yacht temporarily had to leave a deposit in the amount of full customs duty on the boat which in conditions of difficult return of this money was actually a stopgap measure. At the same time, foreigners could enter Russian waters without a deposit, which set the stage for numerous abuses.

Now ALL financial restrictions are FULLY removed, and nothing prevents ANY boat owner from coming into their home country on their boat. WHEREAS there are MANY THOUSANDS of medium and large sized boats owned by Russians on the Mediterranean, this will undoubtedly change everything on our domestic market.

Back in 2015 the Ministry of Economic Development announced plans to exempt yachts temporarily imported to Russia for recreation and sports from taxes and customs duties. Previously the amount of customs duties for importing yachts under the foreign flag into Russia was calculated by the formula:«import customs duty rate + VAT rate + customs fees for customs operations».

Let us mention that foreign yacht tourism in modern Russia was until now practically non-existent due to serious administrative and customs barriers. Up until 2012 movement on the Russian inland waterways of yachts under the foreign flag was forbidden in principle at the legislative level. To pass our rivers was possible only after obtaining special permission signed by the prime minister of the Russian Federation. After abolition of the law, except for Russia existed only in North Korea the first time in the history the yacht under the foreign - to be exact Swedish - flag reached Moscow. Nikita Gorchakov, the founder of itBoat, helped the boat owner to organize the historic voyage, and the news of the historic crossing was covered by Channel One and Russia Today:

At the moment, the text of the decree has not yet been published on the website of the Russian Government, so for now the specific procedure for importing yachts under foreign flags into Russia is not completely clear. itBoat editorial staff is following the development of the situation. We will update the text of the news as new information comes in. But meanwhile we can drink a glass of champagne: if it is true it will give a powerful impulse to the development of the yachting infrastructure in Russia.

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