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Dispute settlement | Brussels, 20 June 2017

Multilateral trade rules prove once more their effectiveness against unfairly high tariffs for EU exports

Russia informed yesterday it had lowered its import tariffs on certain products, as a result of the dispute launched by the EU in 2014. The lowering of customs tariffs in Russia is good news for EU industries and exporters. The announcement is also an example of effectiveness of the multilateral trade rules and their successful use by the EU.

In this particular dispute, the EU challenged Russia's customs duties on paper, refrigerators and palm oil set above the level to which Russia committed while joining the World Trade Organization. Those measures were severely hampering trade in important sectors. EU exports of the products concerned to Russia were worth approximately €600 million a year before the dispute was launched. In a ruling circulated on 12 August 2016, a WTO panel confirmed that Russian import duties on these products violated WTO rules.

This is though only one of many successful cases brought by the EU to the WTO dispute settlement in the last years. The EU legal action in the WTO allowed also for instance to improve access of EU firms to raw materials sources in China and to remove Chinese extra duties on European steel tubes and x-ray scanners.

Effective enforcement of existing trade rules is one of the key points of the EU's trade policy strategy 'Trade for All' of 2015.

The Commission will continue to closely monitor the situation to ensure that WTO commitments are fully respected.

For more information

Database of WTO cases launched by the EU

WTO dispute settlement

Details regarding the dispute

Announcement from Russia