RIA Novosti reported that Russia has extended by 10 months increased import duties on new and used foreign cars and trucks, which sparked mass protests across the country in December. The decision to raise the duty from 25% to at least 30% was designed to protect domestic producers and foreign companies involved in car production in Russia amid the global financial crisis. It was imposed in early December and was to expire on October 11th.
According to the report, with the publication of the order recently in Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the higher duties will now be in effect until June 2010. The customs service earlier said imports of cars and trucks declined 73% and 84% respectively in the first six months of 2009. However, domestic production has also dropped nearly 70% and 60%, although it grew somewhat in July. The government has announced a series of other measures to support domestic car manufacturers, including state subsidies and lower transportation tariffs.