Import prices will not be changed due to Russia accession to WTO

On August 22, 2012, there came into force a Protocol on the Russian Federation Accession of to the Marrakesh Agreement on Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO), and thus the RF became its 156th member.


Therefore, on August 23, 2012 there came into force a new edition of Foreign Economic Activity Commodity Classification of the Customs Union (CU FEA CC) and the Common Customs Tariff of the Customs Union (CU ETT), designed with regard to commitments of the Russian Federation to the World Trade Organization and approved by the Eurasian Economic Commission Board  (ECE) on July 16, 2012

The new tariff envisages the rates reduction for about 1,000 commodity items. Basically, it involves import duties, which have been raised during the crisis of 2008-2009.
The most notable changes occurred in tariffs for foodstuffs and other consumer goods. Thus, the import duty on pork within the quota is reduced to 0% from 15%, on pork imports outside the quota - up to 65% from 75%. Import duty on finished meat product is reduced to 20%, but not less than EURO 0.4 per kg, from 25%, but not less than EURO 0.4 per kg.
New import duty on butter is 15%, but not less than EURO 0.29 per kg against the previous 15%, but not less than EURO 0.4. Import duties are changed for many cheeses. In particular, the import duty for young cheese with a fat content exceeding 40% is reduced to 15%, but not less than EURO 0.25 per kg: earlier this specific component was EURO 0.3 per kg. The specific component of the import duty on such cheeses as camembert and brie is reduced by twice.
In the segment of fruit, import duty on apples, lemons and limes is reduced, as well as on vegetables: tomatoes and cucumbers. Import duty on cucumbers is set at 15%, but not less than EURO 0.08 per kg; this rate will be in effect for the entire year. Earlier, in the period from May 16 to October 31, the import  duty was 15%, but not less than EURO 0.12 per kg, and only from November 1 to May 15, the specific component was decreasing to EURO 0.08 per kg
According to the WTO commitments, Russia will leave unchanged prohibitive import duty on pure alcohol, but will reduce import duties on the majority of strong liquors within three years from EURO 2 per liter of products to EURO 1.5. Also, the duties on mineral water, beer, wine, champagne, vermouth will be significantly reduced.
Duties on fish finished product will be somewhat reduced - from 15% to 12.5-12% for one to three years. As for the raw fish, many of the duty types will drop down from 10% to 6-8%, and in some cases up to 3-5%.
Fees for household appliances and electronics from the date of accession to the WTO will remain the same, but for some items will gradually decline from 2013.
For the majority of textile products, including clothes, a gradual reduction of duties is envisaged as well.
By 2014-2015 duties will be reduced on pharmaceutical products, and from August 23, duties are slightly reduced on some items. For several years, duty on perfumes, cosmetics and hygiene products will be gradually reduced.
Customs duties on new cars are getting decreased from 30% to 25%, and then - from 25% to 15% within seven years. The rate of customs duty on second-hand cars used for up to 7 years is reduced from 35% to 25%, and by 2018 it will make 20% of their value. Rules for import of cars and SUVs over 7 years old remained the same regardless of their type - from EURO 2.3 to EURO 2.8 per cubic capacity of the engine.

Customs duties reduction may result in expanding the range of imported goods. However, one cannot expect price reduction, and if it happens for some items, it will be insignificant.

N.P. Volovik, Head of Foreign Trade Department