Russia’s accession to the WTO: prospective development

Russia’s accession to the WTO: prospective develo...

On 16 December 2011, at the eighth ministerial conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva, Russia signed a protocol on joining the WTO.


Within 220 days, the Russian Federation Duma must decide whether to ratify the protocol. 30 days after the protocol’s ratification, Russia will become a full member of the WTO (expected date: July 2012).

As part of joining the WTO, Russia will have certain commitments related to various sectors of the economy and international trade.


Tariffs on certain products will be lowered:

  • Agricultural goods: from 15.6 to 11.2 percent (e.g. for milk, cream and butter, the rate decreases from 19.8 to 14.9 percent; for crops, from 15.1 to 10 percent);
  • Industrial goods: from 9.3 to 6.4 percent;
  • Medical goods: from 15 to 6.5 percent;
  • Chemicals: from 10 to 6.5 percent;
  • Light vehicles: from 25 to 15 percent;
  • Home appliances: from 25 to 7-9 percent;
  • Computers, components for manufacturing computers and hardware components: within three years, tariffs would be removed.


Commitments concerning services

  • Insurance: foreign insurance companies will be permitted to open branches in Russia after the transition period;
  • Alcohol: the government could monopolize the whole-sale of alcohol.


System-wide commitments

  • Technical regulations: technical regulations will be simplified and developed based on international standards;
  • Special economic zones: a transition period is provided for that will allow investors in Kalingrad and Magadan to continue to receive tax breaks;
  • There will be a transition period that lasts until 1 July 2018 during which current industrial assembly regulations will be in force;
  • Transparency: the Russian Federation will guarantee a certain level of transparency concerning foreign-trade legislation;
  • Agriculture: upon joining the WTO, state subsidies for the agricultural sector will be USD 9 billion per year. Every year, state subsidies will decrease.


If you have any questions related to Russia’s joining the WTO, please contact us.

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