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TABLE The average monthly world prices in July of the respective year 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 Oil (Brent), USD / 140,4 138,3 105,6 115,8 200,2 209,0 183,metric ton Natural gas, USD / - 81,1 78,1 83,9 133,0 150,7 116,thous. mGasoline, USD / 242,3 226,3 183,1 188,9 341,9 391,1 273,metric ton COPPER, USD / 2756,7 2480,4 1736,2 1539,9 1834,7 1708,2 1596,METRIC TON ALUMINUM, USD / 1623,0 1618,9 1370,6 1317,9 1464,7 1536,7 1344,METRIC TON NICKEL, USD / 8135,2 7468,1 5058,3 5239,5 10141,4 7115,7 6764,METRIC TON The government Commission on protection measures in foreign trade announced a whole series of antidumping investigations with regard to import foods. Specifically, the Commission will be focusing on poultry, confectionery containing cacao, starch syrup, and animal butter.

As concerns chicken supplies, it was Russian Union of Poultry Producers that initiated the investigation. According to the Unions data, chicken imports grew 6- fold over the past 3 years, with the share of imports in the domestic market growing from 24% in 1999 up to 61% in 2001. The growth rate in poultry imports were: in 2000- 291.3%, 2001- 202.4%, and between January through April 2002 chicken import supplies grew by another 21.3% vs. its respective period of the prior year.

In the meantime the government develops proposals on the amount and date of introduction a special chicken customs duty. It is envisaged that it should make up 8.3% of its customs value and non less than 0.07 Euro/ kg. The special duty is introduced in addition to the present one (25%), to make competition conditions in the market equal.

The investigation against import supplies of animal butter was launched at the request of the government of Krasnodar krai; it is intended to increase import customs duties for cream butter and margarines from 15 to 20%.

Interestingly, starch syrup has become subject to investigation for the second time. The investigation should be completed by September 1, 2002 and may lead to an increase in the respective customs duty that currently stands at 16% of its customs value and not less than Euro 0.07/kg.

The same situation with the repeated investigation occurred with respect to confectionery containing cacao beans, more specifically, about Ukrainian caramel. The latter has already been under investigation in 2000, and a special customs duty was introduced at that time. However, Ukrainian side has found a way to avoid the barrier. The classical caramel does not contain any cacao, and it is listed in the 17th commodity group according to the Russian Commodity Assortment for Foreign Trade. Ukrainian producers increased the share of cacao in their caramel and their product found itself in the 18th group, which is not subject to the special duty. So, the antidumping investigation was launched on another commodity position.

As concerns oil, the export duty rate on crude oil and oil products made from bituminous rock will be increased as of August 1, 2002, to be raised up to the maximum rate - USD 1.9/t. as of September 20, 2002. According to oil price monitoring, between May through June this year the average oil price accounted for USD 23.08/barrel. The new customs rate will be effective until October 1, 2002. So, the oil export customs duty rate will be changed for the 4th time over this year. The export customs duty rates on petrol and diesel fuel will be raised from Euro 25/t. to 35/t., effective of the same date - i.e.

August 1.

In contrast to that, as of July 1, the government lifted export customs duty rates for ferrous metals, due to the worsening situation in the world markets and antidumping investigations launched in a umber of countries. The 5% duty was introduced in 1999 and consequently it was reduced to 3% in April (on single kinds of metals). Their abolition should support Russian metal producers.

The Commission also recommended to cancel export duties on office paper, cellulose, germanium and goods from it and import duties on glycerin and kinescope bulbs.

In order to protect the national light industry, the Commission ruled out to tighten the procedures of shuttle importation. According to the Commission ruling, as of October 1 it will be only an individual who personally accompanies a cargo weighting up to 50 kg. worth under USD 1,000 who will be able to clear that through the customs free of customs duty. Should a private person be importing goods worth a total under USD 5,000 and weighting under 100 kg., the goods will e subject to a single rate of customs duties and charges amounting to 30% of their customs value, but not less than Euro 4/kg. As concerns imported goods weighting over 100 kg. and worth over USD 5,000, they will become subject to general procedures and terms of tariff regulation and taxation provided for agents participating in foreign trade. At present, all the cargo weighting between 50 through 200 kg.

and worth under USD 10,000 is subject to the single rate of 30% of its customs value, but not less than 4 Euro/kg. The current procedures were set fro shuttle traders, however in practice it is legal entities than benefit from them. They can clear any lot of goods through the customs by breaking it into smaller ones and operating with a power of attorney issued by a private individual. As a result, the national light industry suffers: according to the RF Ministry of economic development and trade, in 2000 alone, the shadow importation of footwear and other goods produced by the light industry accounted for USD 10.8 bln., while in 2001 - 12.4 bln.

In July, the government issued its Resolution On measures on protection of Russian producers of bars for reinforcement of ferroconcrete constructions. The Resolution proceeded from the output of an investigation completed by the said Commission on protection measures. The Resolution introduced a compensation duty on the respective supplies Ukrainian; the duty amounts to 21% of the respective customs value and will be in effect for the upcoming 3 years.

In the nearest future, it is planned to hold negotiations on conclusion of a special bilateral agreement on restricting supplies of goods listed in the said Resolution to RF and on having Ukraine comply with an export regime that would meet Russias interests.

Ukraine, in turn, undertakes responsive measures to protect its national market. Specifically, as of August 1, 2002, the country introduced a 32% duty on Russian passenger cars, which was lobbied by management of Lutsky car plant and Ukrainian-Korean joint venture AvtoZaz- Daewoo. The duty has been introduced for the term of 4 months to limit the importation of Russian cars with the volume of engine under 1.5 Thos. cub. cm.

In July the data on foreign trade of another Russias largest trade partner in the CIS - Belarus- became available. The nations goods turnover with the CIS countries over the first five months reached USD 3,788.3 mln., or 60.8% of Belaruss overall goods turnover, while the value volume of foreign trade with the CIS countries fell by 7.2%. Over the past half year Belarus exported goods worth a total USD 3,039.4 mln., of which 1,606.8 mln.-worth goods were supplied to the CIS countries, of which to Russia- 1,473.3 mln. worth - to Russia.

N. Volovik, N. Leonova

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