On July 29 the World Trade Organization (WTO) general council examined and approved the report of the committee “On restrictions on behalf of balance of payments” on imposition of additional surcharges for some import goods in the amount of 13 percents by Ukraine, an unanimous spokesman for the WTO reported.
The WTO authority consider that Kyiv’s measures are not justified by the state of balance of payments and so infringe general agreement on rates and trade, Kommersant cites the spokesman fro the WTO as saying. Ukraine’s actions are inadmissible for the WTO because it contradicts statements of WTO director general Pascal Lamy that in terms of the financial crisis countries are to avoid protectionist measures. That is why general council obliged Ukraine to cancel all surcharges until September 7. If Ukraine does not fulfill it, according to the WTO rules, authority may impose sanctions on Kyiv.
Lamy’s irritation is caused by Ukraine’s surcharge on entrance duties of uncritical import. As a reminder, in March the Verkhovna Rada gave Cabinet of Ministers the right to fix and change amount of surcharges on entrance duties. After this the Cabinet fixed 13-percent surcharge to the entrance duties for import of cars and refrigerators. In June Constitutional Court abolished the Verkhovna Rada decision. It meant that the law on 13-percent surcharge for many goods of uncritical import came into effect. However, the government ignored the court decision. Since last Wednesday the State Customs Office has been collecting duties only from cars and refrigerators.
According to the Economy Ministry, if Ukraine does not cancel surcharges, the countries which suffered from these measures, will propose the WTO “adequate and painful” measures, for example, restriction of export, increase of tariff rates and may demand compensation for importers losses because of imposition of surcharges.
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