Russia scores WTO win in tariff case against Ukraine

13 Sep 2019 / 12:57 H.

GENEVA: The World Trade Organization on Thursday said that anti-dumping duties imposed by Kiev on Russian fertiliser ammonium nitrate violated international trade rules.

The WTO’s Appellate Body, in a final ruling, upheld a previous decision by a panel of experts in its Dispute Settlement Body that Ukraine’s justification for the tariffs, which were first imposed in 2008, was faulty.

After Ukraine extended and increased the duties in 2014, Moscow took the case to the global trade body in May 2015.

After consultations between the two sides failed to resolve the issue, a WTO panel was created and finally ruled in July 2018 in favour of Russia.

Ukraine appealed that ruling, but Thursday’s verdict is considered final.

The Appellate Body called for “Ukraine to bring its measures found ... to be inconsistent with the Anti-Dumping Agreement, into conformity with its obligations under that Agreement.”

Dumping means that an exporting country sells a product or service into the importing country at prices below what it charges at home.

The use of anti-dumping duties are permitted under international trade rules as long as they adhere to strict conditions, and disputes over their use are often brought before the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body.

The WTO, which aims to create a level playing field in global trade, cannot force compliance with its rulings, but may approve retaliatory measures against violators of international trade rules.

Thursday’s ruling could be among the last issued by WTO’s appeals branch.

The United States has blocked the naming of new members to the appellate panel part of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body, which will likely see the system grind to a halt by the end of the year. — AFP

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