A World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel today declared as illegal the Russian anti-dumping duties that hinder exports of Italian and German light commercial vehicles (LCVs).
The panel ruled that Russia failed to observe a number of WTO rules when introducing the anti-dumping duties in 2013, which range from 23% to nearly 30% and affect exports of Italian and German vehicles.
This is just one example of multiple measures taken by Russia in the recent years against EU exports. The panel’s findings remind Russia that its international obligations cannot be ignored.
“I am glad to see a very clear ruling by the WTO against one of the unfair, protectionist and anti-competitive measures that we see today in Russia. The duties on light commercial vehicles are not in line with commitments by Russia at the time it joined the WTO. Those measures now have to be removed. I hope to see Russia honouring its international obligations and respecting this ruling without delay”, said Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
The panel agreed with the EU on all procedural claims and recognised several problems with the analysis by Russia that led to the introduction of duties. By excluding certain domestic producers from their calculations, the Russian authorities based their analysis of the damage allegedly caused to the domestic industry on unrealistic figures. While assessing the effects of the alleged dumping, the authorities disregarded another factor: the overcapacity in the Russian LCV sector, which stood at that time at seven times what is actually sold on the Russian market.
The parties have 60 days to appeal the decision. Otherwise, Russia will be expected to remove its anti-dumping duties on LCVs from the EU.
The anti-dumping duties on light commercial vehicles, introduced in May of 2013, target imports from Germany, Italy and Turkey.
The measures concern light commercial vehicles between 2.8 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes in weight, van-type bodies and diesel engines with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 3.000 cm3, designed for the transport of cargo of up to two tonnes or for the combined transport of cargo and passengers.
The measures were adopted by the Eurasian Economic Union and currently apply on imports to all its countries, i.e. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia. If they are removed, there will be no such anti-dumping duties on imports from those EU Member States into any of the members of the Eurasian Economic Union.
The case concerns Russia specifically, given that at the time the EU brought the case to the WTO in 2014, Russia was the only member of the Eurasian Economic Union bound by the WTO rules.
This is one of four WTO disputes that the EU has had to bring against Russia since its accession to the WTO. The other cases concern an import ban on pigs and pork products, excess tariffs on imports of paper and other products, and a recycling fee on cars. In the cases of excess tariffs and the pork ban, two WTO panels found in 2016 that Russian measures were violating the WTO rules.