The government said the changes have been made “according to the common Customs tariffs of the Customs Union approved by the Eurasian Commission” – the head regulatory body of the Customs Union.
An official statement said: “In particular, the duty on the imports of live pigs, which currently stands at 40%, but not less than €0.50/kg, will be decreased to 5%. At the same time, the supply of pure-bred breeding pigs, as now, will be subject to zero duty.”
“In addition, after the entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), Russia will reduce the duty on imports of pork within the quota volume to zero – it currently stands at 15% but not less than €0.25/kg. The fee for the supply of pork outside the quota will fall from the current 75%, but not less than €1.50/kg to 65%.
"Duties on imports of poultry meat will not change. Within the quota the delivery of poultry will be subject to duty at a rate of 25%, but not less than €0.20/kg, while outside the quota it will stand at 80%, but not less than €0.70/kg.”
Import duties on beef will change a little. Within the quota, the duty will be stand at a rate of 15% – currently 15% but not less than €0.20/kg. 0utside the quota the duty will remain the same – 50% but not less than €1/kg.
Threat to production
Russian experts and politicians have repeatedly urged the government to revise and increase these figures, as they will lead to the beginning of tough competition between Russian meat producers and foreign suppliers.
“At present, the pork industry is growing faster than any other agricultural sector,” said Ludmila Orlova, head of the Union of Rational Agriculture.
“After joining the WTO, we will see a sharp increase in imports, which in turn will result in a drop in wholesale prices for commodity pork. The payback period of most pig farms in recent years will increase to 10 years – even under the most optimistic scenario. So the cycle of production and the volume of profit will mean producers will soon be unable to pay back their loans.”
The threat to agriculture was the main reason behind the near-derailment of the Russian accession to the WTO in early July. In mid-June the deputies of Russia’s Communist Party appealed to the Constitutional Court to block the ratification of the protocol on Russia’s accession to the WTO, on the basis that it would bring significant losses to the Russian agricultural industry, particularly the pork sector. However, the Constitutional Court dismissed the case and Russian parliament ratified the protocol last month.