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WTO denies EU allegations regarding Russia's "systematic duty variations"

The World Trade Organization (WTO) panel upheld European Union's claims against Russia pertaining to duties on import of paper, fridges and palm oil but denied its allegations that Moscow's violations are systemic, WTO press service said on Friday.

The European Union "failed to establish its claims" and did not "demonstrate the existence of the "Systematic Duty Variation," the WTO panel said.

Regarding the EU claims satisfied today, "Russia never denied that import duties on certain goods differed from the ones specified in its tariff commitments because of technical reasons," Russia's permanent representative with the WTO Gennady Ovechko said. Therefore "a specific schedule for curing inconsistencies was offered to the EU commission" even before the dispute, he added.

"We consider fundamentally important that the Panel denied EU claims regarding systemic violations of types and structures of customs tariffs by Russia," Ovechko said. Two remaining customs tariff rates that are not in conformity to Russia's commitments (for paper and fridges) "will be adapted shortly," he added.

[Source: Itar Tass, Geneva, 12Aug16]

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