Russian government seen decreasing import duties under WTO deal

2011-11-11 14:48:33

The Russian government has agreed to decrease its average import duties on agricultural and industrial products as part of Russia’s membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO), according to a publication seen by PRIME on the organization’s official Web site.

Specifically, average import duties on agricultural products are expected to be lowered to 10.8% from the current 13.2%, while industrial product duties are to be cut to 7.3% from the current 9.5%, the WTO said.

The organization also specified that Russia’s import duties on dairy products are to be reduced to 14.9% from the current 19.8%; import duties on grain are to be cut to 10.0% from 15.1%; while duties on imported cars should be decreased to 12.0% from 15.5%.

The Russian authorities are also to decrease import duties on timber and paper to 8.0% from the current 13.4% and reduce the duties on sugar to U.S. $223 per tonne from $243 per tonne, the WTO also said.

Russia’s tariff quota on imported beef is expected to be set at 15%, and the export tariff quota is to be set at 55%. Meanwhile, import and export tariff quotas on pork are to be set at zero and 65% respectively.

Roughly 33% of newly set import duties are expected to come into effect when Russia joins the WTO, while about 25% are to be lowered in the next three years. Russia’s import duties on poultry are expected to be cut eight years after Russia gains WTO membership, while import duties on cars, helicopters, and civil aircraft would be cut in seven years.

Earlier on Thursday, a working panel set up to coordinate the process of admitting Russia to the WTO approved a protocol that recommended to ministers of WTO member states clear Russia’s accession to the organization.

The ministers are to consider the recommendation at their meeting slated to take place on December 15–17.

Russia is the only major economy still not included in the WTO. It has been in negotiations to join the organization since 1994.