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WTO negotiators agreed on some customs issues – Russia

The negotiators of multi-party consultations for Russia’s admission to the World Trade Organization reached a preliminary agreement on eight customs sections of the report elaborated by the taskforce for WTO joining, RIA Novosti reported.

The agreed on sections relate to determination of goods’ customs value, import restrictions, tariff quotas and other dues, industrial policy, including the subsidy assistance, free economic areas and civil aircraft trading, the RF Economic Development Ministry reported on Thursday. “For customs evaluation, Russia will apply the WTO commitments, to be more precise within the framework of the risk management system, which is within the rules of transnational trade system,” the ministry said. Those rules forbid applying minimal, reference or indicative base to determine customs value of goods. But Russia will be able to maintain the existing quotas for imports of pork, beef and poultry. In the next move, the agreed-on sections will be added to the revised report of the WTO working group.

Two remaining sections (on customs control and on ordinary customs duties) were approved as a whole but the report won’t provide them, as the delegation of Georgia needs more time, roughly a fortnight, for consideration. On Thursday, the ministry said, Russia’s delegation will proceed with consultations on some system issues, including application of sanitary and phytosanitary actions and state support of the agriculture.

Russia has completed negotiations with 57 of 59 states (the EU as a single state), which representatives are the working group members. In addition to Saudi Arabia, the talks are still underway with Georgia that annulled the bilateral agreement with Russia that had been sealed already. (kommersant.com)