Russia to accede to WTO in August


On 18 July 2012, the Russian upper house of the Parliament voted to ratify the country’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO). After the signature of the accession agreement by President Putin, which is expected within the coming days, Russia will become the 156th member of the WTO in 30 days.

European retailers will benefit from lower tariffs and non-tariff barriers (mainly administrative and regulatory obstacles) enabling them to offer more European products in Russian shops. The Russian government announced to start lowering tariffs from September so that customs duties will gradually decrease from an average of currently 9.5 per cent to 6 per cent by 2015. Another good news is that the other WTO members will be able to put pressure on the country and to take legal action if domestic laws do not comply with international agreements or if Russian authorities continue to protect domestic companies against foreign competitors.

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