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GPS devices may be costlier in Russia

Ryazan, Russia: An import duty of up to 25 percent on GPS navigation equipment could be in place from January 1, 2011, as Russia seeks to promote its rival GLONASS system, according to Sergei Ivanov, Deputy Prime Minister, Russia.

“It is time to introduce if not prohibitive then at least some import duties on GPS equipment,” said Ivanov. However, the official said there would be no ban on devices working with the US Global GPS, though Russia had threatened to do so last month.

“If GLONASS-GPS equipment is imported than the duty will remain at zero level,” Ivanov said. “This way we will stimulate not only domestic but also foreign producers (to manufacture GLONASS equipment).” Ivanov also said that the introduction of GLONASS-based equipment on new cars sold in Russia would only apply to public sector vehicles.

Earlier, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had said all new cars sold in Russia starting in 2012 could have the GLONASS system installed. Putin also said that Russia would launch six more navigation satellites by the end of the year, bringing its total to 24 to 28, enough to ensure uninterrupted service.

He also said that no more than 10 percent of Russian public transportation vehicles use navigation systems and that GLONASS-enabled devices presently account for only 5 percent of the nation’s overall satellite navigation market.

Source: Automotive News Europe