9th July 2013

The first EU-Russia dispute brought to the WTO

After numerous unsuccessful requests on Russia to abandon its “recycling fee” on vehicles, the European Union decided to raise the issue to the World Trade Organisation and ask to the WTO´s dispute settlement procedure.

Russia introduced the so-called recycling fee levied on cars, trucks, buses and other motor vehicles on 1 September 2013, only a few days after joining the WTO. However, the vehicles produced in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus are exempted. The fee has a significant impact on the European producers, as the machinery and transport equipment counts for up to 50% of EU exports to Russia. According to Russia´s extimates, the additional government revenue represents €1.3 bn.

The level of fees levied on the EU exports actually nullifies the tariff reductions connected with the WTO membership. Therefore, the EU requests consultations with Russia on the ground of the WTO. If the counterparts fail to find a suitable solution within 60 days, the EU may ask the WTO to set up a Panel to decide, whether the fees levied on imports to the country are legal.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic