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Moreover, the law fails to distinguish between state intervention measures depending on the concrete circumstances. At the same time, according to the basic WTO document – the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade – antidumping measures shall be applied basing on the results of respective investigations, while protective measures (simple import duties) shall be introduced only in order to create more favorable conditions for residents.
Russia started to conduct investigations against undesirable imports (a usual practice of developed countries) in 2000; the first investigation concerned import of Ukrainian pipes. In 2002, there were introduced antidumping import duties on Ukrainian and Kazakh galvanized rolled products. The Ministry for Economic Development has found that in 2001 Ukrainian and Kazakh producers were selling rolled stocks at prices, which were 15 % to 16 % below world levels. Temporary antidumping duties were introduced with regard to these producers for the period of investigation. In the end of 2002 the Governmental commission on protective measures in foreign trade recommended the Government to turn temporary duties in permanent ones and set them at 24.3 % of the customs value of steel for Ukrainian producers and 13.6 % for Kazakh producers.
The new law sets forth certain definitions not stipulated previously by the Russian legislation, for instance, “similar goods,” “dumping margin,” “countervailing measures,” since such definitions are necessary in order to conduct objective antidumping investigations.
The bill sets forth detailed regulations governing such investigations. An important innovation is fixed terms of investigation. For instance, according to the bill, the Government should take the decision on the introduction of protective measures within 14 days after the authorized agency (the Ministry for Economic Development) submits its report on the results of the investigation.
The draft law sets forth three types of reaction to undesirable imports. In the case import of a commodity sharply increases, there may be introduced special protective measures (special duties and import quotas).
The term for which temporary special duties may be introduced for the period of investigation shall not exceed 200 days. In the case it is found that imports damage the Russian economy, duties or quotas may be introduced for a period up to 4 years.
In the case dumping is detected (export prices are below the respective price on the domestic market), there shall be introduced antidumping duties, which shall be added to the usual import duty. At last, in the case it is found that respective governments subsidize their importers there may be introduced so called countervailing duties set in accordance with estimated amounts of subsidies. The terms of antidumping and countervailing duties shall be 5 years.
Yet another law, which shall be approved in the framework of negotiation process relating to Russia’s accession to WTO is the law “On the state regulation of foreign trade operations.” The respective bill will be submitted to the State Duma in the nearest future.
The government bill contains a large number of innovations in comparison with the present version of the law. For instance, the draft law stipulates that no decisions concerning regulation of foreign trade operations shall not be approved without consultations with the business community. Besides, all respective decisions shall be made public before the approval. The new law defines the procedures governing the approval of retaliatory measures against discriminatory decisions on the part of RF foreign trade partners. A large section is dedicated to trade in services. This section shall fully correspond to the respective WTO regulations.
Therefore, Russia is practically ready to join WTO and made for it everything it could. All necessary laws are submitted to the State Duma. The market access terms are normal. However, Russia’s opponents still adhere to the other point of view. Such problems as price determination relating to energy resources, levels of tariff protection and state subsidizing of agriculture, as well as the degree of the openness of the service market are still the stumbling blocks. It seems that the negotiations go on in circles. Opponents ask the same questions as a year or five years ago.
N. Volovik N. Leonova
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