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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Car Import Tax Change

MOSCOW -- The State Customs Committee has closed a popular loophole in this country's car import regulations, effective Jan. 16.

Sailors, pilots, diplomats and others who work abroad for extended periods were allowed to import one car per year without paying customs duties. Customs officials said the exemption was widely abused by organized crime groups, which went as far as pressing eligible citizens into service as car importers. According to official statistics, of the 76,500 cars imported in the first nine months of last year, 52 percent were brought in under the loophole provisions, costing the budget from $120 million to $140 million in lost revenue.