European Union’s legal action to the WTO Secretariat against Russia’s ban on pork import

On April 8, 2014, European Union filed a request to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on undertaking of consultancies with Russian Federation on measures concerning import of pigs, pork, and pork products from the EU member countries.


As a reminder, on January 30, 2014 the Russian Federation imposed a ban on import of pork and pork products to the Russian Federation from all EU member countries due to outbreak of the African swine fever (АЧС) on the EU territory. The ban on import of all types of finished meat products from Poland and Lithuania came to force on April 7, 2014.

The ban has had a severe adverse effect on the European pig farming. According to the data provided by the European Commission, export volumes of pigs and pork from the European Union to Russia amounted to 1,4bn euro in 2013. Russia's ban has resulted in serious overproduction in Europe, leading to market overstocking and falling prices. The European Union claim that a complete ban on pork export from the EU to Russia is contradicting the WTO's rules and is disproportional.

Under the WTO's rules, parties in dispute may within 60 days undertake consultations aimed at reaching a peaceful settlement. Should no consensus be obtained, the complainant shall be entitled to request that a special group of expects is formed to settle the dispute within the WTO.

The European Union has recently filed a legal action to the WTO against Russia's auto scrap tax.

Nadezhda Volovik, Head of Gaidar Institute's Foreign Trade Department