Eurasian Economic Commission proposes to raise duties on Ukrainian products

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) may raise duties on Ukrainian products.

Commersant Ukraine published this information by results of Ukrainian-Russian negotiations, Ukrinform reports.

“The Customs Union (CU) started realization of its threat to worsen conditions for access of Ukrainian products to the markets of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. On October 28, 2013, the Eurasian Economic Commission announced its decision No. 41 of October 24, vesting a right to itself to unilaterally revise the duty rates according to supplement No.6 to the agreement on the free trade area between the CIS countries,” a statement reads.

As noted, President of Russia Vladimir Putin has said about this Friday: “We reserve the right to use Protocol No. 6 of the Free Trade Area Agreement in order to protect our market. This does not mean that we will ban import of Ukrainian commodities to the Russian market, but it means that those commodities will not enjoy preferential tax treatment within the CIS frames.”

The Russian MFA stated that signing of the Association Agreement with the EU will “create risks” for trade. In this case, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia will resort to protection measures. “Goods will enjoy most favored regime on the basis of the WTO norms, but preferences, which additionally to this regime proceed from participation in the FTA with the CIS, of course, cease to have effect,” the Minister said.

According to Government Commissioner for European Integration Valeriy Piatnytsky, the ability to raise taxes is not mentioned in the WTO standards in connection with losses, and even with the threat of loss. “If we talk about the loss of massive imports, there are WTO procedures to protect against them. The Customs Union members can always take advantage of them. However, they want to impose restrictive measures in the event of such threats, which is contrary to the WTO rules," he said.

Government Plenipotentiary for cooperation with Russia, the CIS and EurAsEC Valeriy Muntiyan is quite sure that the Customs Union has no reason to revise the rates. "It is necessary to carefully read the document: it is noted there that a good reason is needed for such a revision. Now they do not - the agreement with the EU is not working. The Customs Union members are not even ready to tell us on what product they are afraid of a significant increase of Ukrainian imports,” the expert said.