Canada Removes MFN Status from Russia and Belarus, Imposes 35% Duty on Imports

Russian General Tariff Concept (Canadian Hundred Dollar Bills Falling into a Pile Against Russian Flag)

Trade Update • MARCH 2, 2021

In response to the “illegal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine” by Russia, supported by Belarus, Canada this week became the first country to revoke Most-Favoured-Nation trading status for the two rogue countries.

“This means that Russia and Belarus will no longer receive the benefit, particularly low tariffs, that Canada offers to other countries that are fellow members of the WTO [World Trade Organization],” said Canada’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, Chrystia Freeland.

“Instead, Russia and Belarus will be subject to a tariff of 35% on their exports to Canada,” Freeland said, noting that North Korea was the only other country not to enjoy MFN status with Canada.

As a result of the measure, virtually all goods imported into Canada that originate from Russia or Belarus will be subject to the General Tariff and therefore dutiable at the rate of 35%.

Note: In cases where where MFN rates are higher, the higher rates will continue to apply.

Canada had about C$1.2 billion ($948 million) in imports from Russia and about C$23 million from Belarus in 2020, according to Statistics Canada.

The government’s Withdrawal Order (2022-0182) is effective immediately and applies for 180 days (August 30), unless extended by a resolution adopted by both Houses of Parliament.


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