The EU requested today the establishment of a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva concerning Russia’s excessive import duties, in particular on paper products, refrigerators and palm oil. This request follows EU efforts to find a solution with Russia since it joined the WTO in August 2012, including through formal WTO consultations that were held in November.
Upon joining the WTO, Russia committed to keep its import duties below the limits expressed in the accession documents. However, it has continued taxing a number of products across various sectors more heavily than agreed. This is still the case today for certain products of interest for the EU.
Russia diverges from what was decided at the time it was joining the WTO in two ways: either it applies a higher duty rate, e. g. 15% instead of 5% for paper products, or, in case of refrigerators and palm oil, it fixes a minimum amount that needs to be paid even if not justified by the agreed duty rate expressed in a percentage of the product value. Click here to read more.