Russia may want to change import duties under WTO membership

07-02-2012 | |

The Russian Ministry of Economic Development could ask for reconsideration of the obligations of the Russian Federation within the membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) in particular with respect to duties on pigs import.

This was recently announced by the Deputy Head of Product Department of Trade Negotiations under the Ministry of Economic Development of Russia Viktor Batanina at the international conference of agricultural producers and suppliers of capital goods and services for the agricultural sector.

During the conference, chief expert of the Russian Pig Union Nicholas Birulin noted that within Russia’s membership in the WTO the duty on import of live pigs will be dramatically reduced from 40 to 5%. 

According to Birulin, this change will lead to “explosive growth of imports” of pork. He also added that as a result of all the measures to be implemented in the sector, the minimum loss of pig-breeding companies can be about 20 billion rubles (US$ 66 mln). 
Birulin further added that the investment attractiveness of the industry will significantly decrease. “Since 2012 pig farming in Russia will become to stagnated and after that we will see the decline in production. Share of imports by 2020 can grow up to 35-45% out of total consumption.”

Experts predict that therefore Russia may raise a question of reconsideration of the obligations for the decrease of the duty for the import of live pigs and pork. Batanin said that Russia has  such a right under Article 28 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

(By Vladislav Vorotnikov)