Manufacturers threatened to increase battery price in Russia

Russian car battery manufacturers have filed a complaint with business ombudsman Boris Titov about the procedure for calculating customs duties for battery components, socialbites.ca learned.

The reason for the objection of the heads of many battery factories was the 6.5% customs duty on the battery separators purchased by the manufacturers from abroad. These high molecular weight polyethylene products pack the battery plates before they are inserted into the case – separating the positive and negative electrodes to prevent short circuits.

Battery manufacturers have been complaining about what they believe has been misclassified battery components by customs authorities. In particular, the dispute over the classification of separators between Yelabuga Battery Factory and Volga Elektronik Customs has been going on in arbitration courts since 2020. The factory declares the billets in rolls coming from abroad as separators that are not subject to customs duty, and customs officials repeatedly classify them as “porous tape made of other plastics”, and 6.5% is required for imports. your mission.

Arbitration courts sided with the battery manufacturer in 17 cases in 2020 and 2021. However, in April 2022, the Arbitration Court of the Volga-Vyatka Region sided with customs in a similar situation. With the expectation that this case will be heard in the Supreme Court, the battery manufacturer applied to the commissioner to protect the rights of entrepreneurs.

“Such a contradictory and unfair approach will inevitably entail an unreasonable additional financial burden on all domestic battery manufacturers and cause an increase in the cost of the domestic final product.”

– stated in a letter to Titov, signed by the director of the Elabuga Battery Plant Marat Baikiev (socialbites.ca has a copy).

As for separators, the Russian battery industry is currently completely dependent on imports, the domestic industry does not produce them, the letter states.

“This is a problem for the entire battery industry. Currently, all facilities purchase this raw material component from abroad. Many factories are protesting this decision and are suing,” he said.

Marat Baikiev told socialbites.ca. We have no explanation for why the classification has changed. Manufacturers should buy them because they get them at zero.”

Business Ombudsman Boris Titov explained to socialbites.ca that objections to the classification of these components by customs authorities were signed by the heads of several battery factories – Aktekh Energy Trading from Yelabuga, Kursk, Irkutsk, Akom group of companies from Togliatti and a number of others and all Within the industry, the additional costs of factories to pay taxes will be tens and hundreds of millions of rubles.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade informed socialbites.ca that at the moment in Russia the production of disconnectors for starter and traction batteries is carried out by Tyumen Battery Plant JSC.

“The introduction of customs duties not only increases the final cost of products, but also encourages battery manufacturers to deepen localization.”

– said in the press service of the ministry “Gazeta.ru”.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade added that customs duties were imposed on imports of foreign batteries to support Russian manufacturers, and battery factories also have the right to apply for government subsidies for research and development (R&D) and preferential loan co-financing. in projects for import substitution

socialbites.ca contacted the press service of the Federal Customs Service with questions about the specifics of the classification of battery components, but at the time of publication the editors did not receive a response.

An industry source said imported separators aren’t the only problem. The cost of batteries is also affected by the prices of the main raw materials for their manufacture and the increased costs of manufacturers due to more complex logistics.

“In addition to the separators, there were components purchased abroad, but their share is not as significant as lead, which makes up 70% of the battery,” explains the source of socialbites.ca. “It is also necessary to take into account that the cost of logistics increases for all imported goods.”

He added that if a new procedure is introduced for the centralized disposal of batteries as hazardous waste, as well as the depreciation of the ruble, their price may rise in the near future.

Marina Beloglyadova, marketer at Auto3N (who sells auto parts), says that despite the general increase in auto parts prices, the prices of batteries have not risen much, but the market is redistribution in favor of brands that were not previously in demand. ).

“Despite the price increase in the auto spare parts market, battery brands are not ready to give up.

At the same time, previously little-known brands are also beginning to be in demand in the market,” he said.

Sergey Burgazliev, an independent automotive industry consultant, says there are always disputes between companies and customs authorities over the classification of automobile components, and when it comes to small parts, courts more often take the side of the state.

“A tax of 6.5% is relatively low, plus components such as separators can be localized in Russia.

The same Sibur and other chemical conglomerates certainly have the competency for this,” he said.

Russian car battery manufacturers complained of problems with the import of critical components into the country – separators. Industry representatives say that the customs duty applied only to battery separators abroad brings an additional financial burden to domestic facilities in difficult economic conditions. Because of this, batteries can become more expensive.



Source: Gazeta

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