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The EU and the WTO | Brussels, 15 September 2014

EU requests WTO Panel on Anti-Dumping duties on Light Commercial Vehicles

The European Union today requested the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva to rule over a dispute concerning anti-dumping duties applied by the Russian Federation (Russia) on imports of light commercial vehicles ("LCVs) from Germany and Italy.

The EU believes the anti-dumping duties applied by Russia are incompatible with WTO law, both on procedural and substantive grounds. At the EU’s request, consultations were held on 18 June 2014 to try to resolve the dispute. However, they did not satisfy the EU's concerns about the WTO-incompatibility of the measures applied by Russia.

The duties of 23% to 29.6% imposed on European LCVs are significantly hampering access to the Russian market. The trade restrictions are incompatible with WTO law and mean that exports of LCVs from Germany and Italy have not benefitted from the concessions made by Russia in relation to its WTO accession in 2012. In 2012 EU LCVs exports to Russia were worth more than €100 million, but exports have been decreasing since Russia imposed a so-called 'recycling fee' in September 2012 on cars, trucks, buses and other motor vehicles just days after joining the WTO. The anti-dumping measures covered by today's panel request are further choking off EU exports of LCVs.

'The EU is concerned by the use of trade defence instruments as protectionist measures, without a proper justification. In line with our general policy to request WTO dispute settlement to address technical shortcomings of trade defence measures taken by another WTO Member, the EU has moved to the next step in this dispute.' said EU Trade Spokesman Wojtek Talko.

On 14 May last year, the Eurasian Economic Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of light commercial vehicles from Germany, Italy and Turkey. Its decision (No. 113) covers the territory of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. As Belarus and Kazakhstan are not WTO Members, the request for consultations was addressed only to Russia.

The product concerned is light commercial vehicles of gross vehicle weight from 2.8 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes, van-type bodies and diesel engines with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 3.000cm3, designed for the transport of cargo of up to two tonnes or for the combined transport of cargo and passengers (HS code ex 8704 21 310 0 and HS code ex 8704 21 910 0). The anti-dumping duties are 29.6% for imports from Germany, 23% for imports from Italy and 11.1% for imports from Turkey.

On 21 May 2014 the EU requested WTO consultations with Russia. The consultations took place on 18 June 2014, but the discussions did not succeed in resolving the dispute.

The EU’s request for the establishment of a WTO panel will be discussed for the first time at the meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of 26 September 2014. At that meeting Russia can, under the dispute settlement rules of the WTO, object to the establishment of the panel. If the EU tables the issue again at the following DSB meeting, Russia will be unable to block the request and, consequently, the panel would be established.

For further information

Read the Press Release
Dispute Settlement and the World Trade Organisation