Several car shipments have been blocked on their way into Russia by its Federal Customs Service because they are not equipped with the Era-Glonass accident emergency response system, the Journal of Commerce reports.
According to Yuri Ladygin, head of the Customs Service’s Far East Department, amendments to Russia’s customs regulations require all cars imported into the country after January 1st – whether new or used – to be equipped with the telematics-based navigation and communication system, which is designed to cut emergency response times by automatically transmitting details of any accident including vehicle location, time and level of impact.
The vehicles that have been blocked were already in transit under import permits issued last year, before the new rules came into effect.
Ladygin did not disclose details of the vehicles held, saying only that based on current legislation, the Federal Customs Service did not have a scheme in place for dealing with them.
Most car makers have already confirmed they will equip cars bound for Russia with Era-Glonass, including Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Infiniti, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Subaru. A number, however, including Audi and BMW, have said they will cut the range of cars imported into Russia instead.
According to Russia’s Association of Automotive Dealers (ROAD), the new legislation has come into force three years earlier than most car makers were expecting. It puts an additional burden on inbound logistics and will hit sales of new cars in the country, warned Andrey Petrenko, ROAD’s vice-president.
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