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The EU brings its first WTO case against Russia

EU News 331/2013

Brussels, 9 July 2013

The EU today launched a challenge to Russia’s so-called “recycling fee” on vehicles by requesting consultations in the World Trade Organisation.

The EU has repeatedly raised the issue of the fee in bilateral talks with Moscow but this has not brought any concrete solution. This leaves the EU no choice but to resort to the WTO's dispute settlement procedures.

“The European Commission has pursued every diplomatic channel for almost one year now to find a solution with our Russian partners on this matter but to no avail. The fee is incompatible with the WTO's most basic rule prohibiting discrimination against and among imports,” said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.  “It is severely hampering trade in a sector which is key for the European economy. We expect Russia to engage in WTO consultations with us to find a solution to this problem quickly."

Russia introduced the fee on 1 September 2012, just days after joining the WTO.  The fee is levied on cars, trucks, buses and other motor vehicles.  For cars, it ranges from about €420 to €2700 for a "new" vehicle and from €2600 to €17200 for a vehicle older than three years.  For some vehicles, such as certain mining trucks, the fee is as high as €147700.

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