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  Tuesday, November 19, 2019
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Russia's tax service renewed licenses for over 60 alcohol producers Friday
Russia's tax service renewed licenses for over 60 alcohol producers Friday after 320 licenses were suspended for 10 days following a regulatory dispute. The Federal Taxation Service inspected all licensed alcohol producers last month and on June 4 suspended the licenses of owners which had failed to install automated alcohol meters as required by May 1. "Over 60 producers have acted quickly to ensure compliance. Their licenses have been renewed and production resumed," the service spokesman said. "Contrary to media speculation, there is no prospect of an alcohol shortage," he said, adding that all the suspended companies produced less than 10% of alcohol nationwide. Industry analysts said the failure to comply with the new regulations resulted from a widespread belief that EGAIS, the federal alcohol control system, would not work. The tax authorities expected to start loading data from producers' automated alcohol meters into EGAIS on February 1, 2007, but the government conceded in January that EGAIS was not operating properly, and moved the startup date back to November 1, 2007, setting a deadline of May 1 for the installation of automated meters. Last year, the Russian government ordered all alcohol retailers and distributors sell alcohol with new excise tax markers, but failed to start up EGAIS as planned and print enough markers, causing severe shortages of alcohol on the consumer market. Late last month, the Finance Ministry proposed amendments to the law regulating EGAIS, withdrawing it from sales companies. Many experts have speculated that the government was tacitly acknowledging failure to achieve the key EGAIS target - stopping the production of illegal and dangerous alcohol.
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