The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled against Russia’s use of import duties on paper, refrigerators and palm oil, confirming that they violate WTO rules. The ruling comes while an EU-initiated dispute settlement on a number of other trade barriers imposed by Russia, including a ban on imports of pigs and pork, remains “ongoing”.
“This is the first case ever decided in the WTO against Russia,” said the European Commission (EC). “Despite being a WTO member since August 2012, Russia has not yet fulfilled some of its commitments made before its accession. This includes one of the WTO’s most fundamental rules, according to which its members must not apply customs duties in excess of the ‘bound rates’ they commit themselves to in their respective schedules.
“Following the dispute settlement procedure (on paper, refrigerators and palm oil) activated by the EU in October 2014, the WTO panel fully agreed that Russia’s customs duties are inconsistent with its WTO commitments.”
The EC also stated that, in the recent past, the EU has initiated dispute settlement procedures on a number of other trade barriers imposed by Russia. These include recycling fees on cars, a ban on import of pigs and pork and antidumping duties on light commercial vehicles.
“These other procedures are ongoing,” said the EC.