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WTO Rules Against Russia Tariffs

WTO Rules Against Russia Tariffs WTO Rules Against Russia Tariffs

Russian duties on transport vans from Germany and Italy run counter to its free-trade obligations, the World Trade Organization said in a ruling on Friday.

The European Union had filed a case at the trade body in Geneva, complaining that Russia was imposing duties between 23 and 29.3%, dpa reported.

Moscow introduced the measure in 2013 to counter what it saw as below-market prices by German and Italian vehicle makers.

The WTO’s dispute settlement panel found that Russia had excluded some of its domestic producers from its calculations and had therefore reached unrealistic conclusions about the negative market effects of the imported vans.

“I am glad to see a very clear ruling by the WTO against one of the unfair, protectionist and anti-competitive measures that we see today in Russia,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said in Brussels. “Those measures now have to be removed,” the member of the EU executive body added.

Last year, the EU won WTO disputes with Russia regarding meat imports from the EU, and its tariffs on EU paper and other products.

WTO members are allowed to impose duties on imports they think are being “dumped”, or unfairly priced to compete with their own production, but they have to be able to prove it. 

But other EU arguments, such as a claim that Russia had mixed up data expressed in dollars and rubles, failed to convince the arbitrators.

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