Geneva consultations on WP's Report



Chairman of the Working Party on Russia 's accession to the WTO, Ambassador Stefan Johannesson held plurilateral consultations on sections from the Report of the Working Party on Russia 's WTO accession.

Ambassador Stefan Johannesson, chairman of the Working Party on Russia 's accession to the WTO, held plurilateral consultations on sections of the Working Party's Report on Russia 's WTO accession on July 25, 2007 . The Russian delegation comprising the representatives of the RF Ministry for Economic Development and Trade, the RF Ministry of Finance, the RF Federal Customs Service and other institutions took part in the consultations along with the delegations of more than 40 WTO member countries.

A tentative agreement has been reached on 8 sections of the Report dealing with application of tariff quotas, determination of the goods' customs value, application of quantitative import limitations, tariff quotas, collection of other dues, industrial policy including payments of subsidies, and also preshipment inspections, functioning of free economic zones and trade in aircrafts. These sections contain descriptions of regulation regimes practiced by Russia in corresponding fields, as well as descriptions of commitments that Russia intends to take in connection with its accession to the WTO. As a general rule, these commitments represent elaborations of corresponding WTO agreements, but, apart from that, provide for the preservation of privileges enjoyed by the “old” residents of the Kaliningrad Free Economic Zone during the transitional period specified in the legislation currently in force. Russia is not acceding to the agreement on trade in civil aicrafts. In the sphere of customs valuation Russia will stick to the WTO obligations that prohibit application of minimal, list or indicative prices in order to determine the customs value of the goods – specifically, by operating in the framework of a risk management system that remains within the limits of the multilateral trade system rules.

Russia will be able to preserve the current tariff quotas for imports of pork, beef and poultry. The conditions of applying these tariff quotas will be the subject of talks between the interested WTO members in 2009 (if Russia requires the prolongation of the quotas regime). The introduction of preshipment inspection will be possible with the observation of the WTO norms dealing, above all, with transparency and the level of payments for the services provided.

These sections will be included in the new draft of the Working Party's Report – a document determining the system conditions of Russia 's WTO accession. It is expected that this draft will be prepared after discussions dealing with the remaining sections of the Report. Among the latter are:

On July 26 the Russian delegation will continue consultations on system issues such as application of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and state support for agriculture. It will also hold bilateral talks with Saudi Arabia on issues of Russia 's WTO accession.