Effects of Russia’s accession to the WTO

Effects of Russia’s accession to the WTO

On 10 November 2011 the WTO’s working group approved a protocol that permits Russia to become a member of the WTO. The protocol also recommended that the ministerial conference, which is planned for 15-17 December, accept Russia as a WTO member. Russia should then ratify the documents necessary for WTO membership no later than 15 June 2012. Russia will officially become a WTO member 30 days after the members are notified of the ratification. The approximate date is 1 -15 July 2012.


Russia’s obligations:

  • The average rate of import duties should be lowered from 10% to 7.8% (on industrial goods from 9.5% to 2.3%, on chemicals from 6.5% to 5.2%, on automobiles from 15.5% to 12%, on electric machines from 8.4% to 6.2%).
  • Import duties will be nullified for several types of raw materials and high-tech products.
  • Sanitary and phytosanitary measures and technical regulations will be unified with the WTO’s rules.


Advantages for businesses:

  • The Russian market will be able to attain foreign goods and services more easily.
  • The global market will be able to obtain Russian goods and services more easily.
  • Already available and new products will develop thanks to an improved investment climate and nullification of import duties on high-tech products.
  • Companies will more easily be able to import goods into Russia because the list of products that need to be certified will be regularly re-examined.
  • Intellectual property rights will be strengthened.
  • Foreign companies will be allowed to compete in government tenders.
  • Foreign insurance companies will be allowed to open subsidiaries in Russia upon the end of the transition period.
  • International mechanisms for settling commercial disagreements will be available, i.e. settlement of disputes between parties using consultation, consultation procedures, arbitration, court arbitration, appeal proceedings.


Disadvantages for businesses:

  • Russian manufacturing will face increased competition because Russia will be open to other markets and because import duties will be lowered.
  • Antidumping procedures and rules will be applied to Russian goods that are exported.
  • State subsidies for agriculture will be decreased and expenses for these companies will increase in the medium term.


For a more detailed analysis of advantages and disadvantages for business, familiarize yourself with information on the official site of WTO and official site of Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

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