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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Secondhand Cars Targeted by Khristenko's Tariff Plan

Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko is seeking to impose protective import tariffs on used foreign cars more than five years old as part of a new auto industry development plan.

Khristenko's ministry has already submitted the plan to the government, Vedomosti reported on Thursday, citing an unidentified source in the ministry. The Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the country's medium-term automotive strategy at its meeting on Thursday.

To help domestic automakers, Russia in 2002 initially introduced protective tariffs on secondhand foreign cars more than seven years old. After the fall of the Iron Curtain, many Russians preferred to buy older, foreign models rather than new, domestic cars.

Import tariffs on used cars are based on engine size. The tariff on cars older than seven years is between 2 and 3 euros ($2.56 and $3.84) per cubic centimeter.

The Industry and Energy Ministry is also proposing to lower the definition of new cars from three years to one year, a ministry official told Vedomosti.

The changes would help prevent the growing import of secondhand vehicles from turning the country into "the world's car junkyard," Khristenko told reporters during his tour of the KamAZ plant in Tatarstan earlier this week.

Khristenko said on a separate occasion that one of the first measures of his "new industrial policy" would be to tighten restrictions on secondhand cars coming into the country.

"This is a step toward carmakers, not only Russian but also foreign ones," an official in the Economic Development and Trade Ministry told the paper. "It's only the population that will suffer."