The International Trade Law Review: Eurasian Economic Union

Overview of trade remedies

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) continues to be an active user of trade defence instruments.

Between July 2020 and July 2021, the following developments took place with regard to the application of trade remedy instruments by the EAEU.

  1. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-28) was initiated on 7 May 2019 into imports into the EAEU territory of aluminium tape originating from Azerbaijan and China. The investigation concluded in September 2020 with the imposition of an anti-dumping duty for five years of 13.14 per cent for Chinese producers and 16.18 per cent for Azerbaijani producers.2
  2. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-29) was initiated on 2 September 2019 into imports into the EAEU territory of leaf springs originating from China. The investigation concluded on 16 February 2021 with the imposition of an anti-dumping duty of 14.11 per cent for five years.3
  3. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-30) was initiated on 24 December 2019 into imports of welded stainless-steel pipes originating from China into the EAEU territory. The investigation concluded on 12 February 2021 with the imposition of an anti-dumping duty for five years of 14.62 to 17.28 per cent depending on the manufacturer.4
  4. An interim review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-14-R1) was initiated on 16 January 2020 into imports of kitchen and cutlery made of stainless steel originating from China into the EAEU territory. On 18 May 2020, the Department for Internal Market Defence (DIMD) of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) published a notification of the extension of the anti-dumping duty from 15.41 to 27.16 per cent (depending on the manufacturer) until 15 January 2021.5 The investigation concluded in December 2020 with the imposition of the anti-dumping duty at the notified rates until 30 November 2025.6
  5. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-31) was initiated on 9 April 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of graphite electrodes with a diameter of not more than 520mm originating from China. At the time of writing, the investigation is in its final stage. On 14 April 2021, the DIMD published a non-confidential report on the results of the investigation. According to the report, the DIMD proposed that an anti-dumping duty of 14.04 to 28.2 per cent (depending on the manufacturer) be imposed.7
  6. An interim review of anti-dumping measures (AD-16-R1) against imports of oil country tubular goods originating from China into the EAEU territory was initiated on 13 May 2020. The investigation was concluded on 27 April 2021 with the prolongation of the anti-dumping duty of 12.23 to 31 per cent (depending on the manufacturer) until 26 April 2026.8
  7. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-32) was initiated on 29 June 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of aluminium cookware originating from China. At the time of writing, the DIMD published a non-confidential report on the results of the investigation with the proposal to impose an anti-dumping duty of 21.89 per cent for five years.9 On 24 June 2021, the DIMD decided to prolong the investigation until 28 September 2021.10
  8. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-33) was initiated on 27 July 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of primary high-density polyethylene originating from Uzbekistan.11 The investigation is ongoing at the time of writing.
  9. A sunset review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-17-R2) was initiated on 30 July 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of tracked bulldozers with fixed and swivel blades with a capacity of up to 250hp, originating from China.12 The investigation was concluded on 30 June 2021. The imposition of an anti-dumping duty of 9.65 to 44.65 per cent was prolonged until 28 July 2026.13
  10. A sunset review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-18-R1) was initiated on 19 August 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of truck tyres originating from China.14 On 30 April 2021, the DIMD published the first version of the report on the results of the investigation.15 On 11 June 2021, the DIMD published an updated version of the report.16 According to the report, the DIMD proposed to prolong the existing anti-dumping measure of 14.79 to 35.35 per cent for the next five years.17
  11. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-34) was initiated on 17 September 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of melamine originating from China.18 The investigation is ongoing.
  12. A sunset review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-21-R1) was initiated on 19 October 2020 into imports into the EAEU territory of seamless pipes made of corrosion-resistant (stainless) steel originating from Ukraine.19 On 31 December 2020, the anti-dumping duty was prolonged until 18 October 2021.20 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  13. A sunset review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-1-R4) was initiated on 8 February 2021 into imports into the EAEU territory of some types of steel pipes originating from Ukraine.21 The anti-dumping duty of 18.9 to 37.8 per cent (depending on the product and producer) was prolonged until 7 February 2022.22 The investigation is ongoing.
  14. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-35) was initiated on 23 June 2021 into imports into the EAEU territory of wedge gate valves originating from China.23 The investigation is ongoing.
  15. A sunset review of an anti-dumping investigation (AD-20-R1) was initiated on 25 June 2021 into imports into the EAEU territory of ferrosilicon manganese originating from Ukraine.24 The investigation is ongoing.
  16. An anti-dumping investigation (AD-36) was initiated on 28 June 2021 into imports into the EAEU territory of ferrosilicon manganese originating from Georgia.25 The investigation is ongoing at the time of writing.

EAEU countries were also extensively targeted by trade remedy measures on foreign markets.

On 24 January 2020, the EU initiated the start of the second review of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of certain welded pipes and tubes of iron or non-alloyed steel originating in Belarus, China and Russia. The purpose of the review was to determine whether the expiry of the anti-dumping measures would be likely to result in continuation or recurrence of dumping and injury to the EU industry.26 On 19 April 2021, the European Commission decided to maintain the anti-dumping measures until 20 April 2026.27

On 14 October 2020, the EU announced the start of an anti-dumping investigation against the imports of birch plywood originating in Russia.28 On 10 June 2021, provisional anti-dumping duties of 15 to 15.9 per cent were imposed (depending on the manufacturer).29 The investigation is ongoing.

On 30 October 2020, the EU announced the start of a sunset review concerning imports of grain-oriented flat-rolled products of silicon-electrical steel originating in China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the United States.30 The investigation is ongoing.

On 18 January 2021, the EU started a partial interim review, which is limited in scope to the examination of the level of the anti-dumping measures applicable to imports of hot-rolled flat steel products originating in Russia, and exported by PAO Severstal to the EU.31 The investigation is ongoing.

On 24 June 2021, the EU started an anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of certain corrosion resistant steels originating in Russia and Turkey.32 The investigation is ongoing.

On 26 July 2020, the US International Trade Commission (the US Commission) started a countervailing investigation concerning imports of phosphate fertilisers from Morocco and Russia.33 The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determined that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates exist: 72.5 per cent for Industrial Group Phosphorite LLC; 20.94 per cent for Joint Stock Company (JSC) Apatit; and 32.92 per cent for other Russian manufacturers.34 On 31 March 2021, the US Commission issued the final determinations,35 which found that the following estimated countervailable subsidy rates existed: 47.05 per cent for Industrial Group Phosphorite LLC; 9.19 per cent for Joint Stock Company Apatit; and 17.2 per cent for other Russian manufacturers.36

On 8 July 2020, the US Commission started the anti-dumping and countervailing investigation concerning the imports of seamless standard line and pressure pipes from the Czech Republic, South Korea, Russia and Ukraine.37 Commerce preliminarily determined that PAO TMK, Volzhsky Pipe Plant JSC and other Russian producers had the estimated countervailable subsidy rate of 4.39 per cent.38 Also, Commerce preliminary determined that the weighted-average dumping margin of 209.72 per cent for PAO TMK, Volzhsky Pipe Plant JSC and other Russian producers existed.39 In the final determinations published on 2 July 2021 the US Commission established that the estimated countervailable subsidy rate for PAO TMK, Volzhsky Pipe Plant JSC and other Russian producers was 48.38 per cent.40 In turn, the weighted-average dumping margin remained at 209.72 per cent for PAO TMK, Volzhsky Pipe Plant JSC and other Russian producers.41

On 29 September 2020, the US Commission started an anti-dumping investigation into the imports of certain aluminium foil from Armenia, Brazil, Oman, Russia and Turkey.42 Commerce preliminary determined that the estimated weighted-average dumping margin of 62.18 per cent existed for Rusal Marketing GmbH, Rusal Products GmbH, RTI Limited, JSC United Company Rusal – Trading House, JSC Rusal Sayanal, JSC Ural Foil and all other companies.43

On 2 November 2020, the US Commission initiated a sunset review of the anti-dumping and countervailing duty applied to cut-to-length (CTL) carbon steel plate from China, Russia and Ukraine.44 On 21 June 2021, the Commission issued a determination finding that the revocation of the anti-dumping duty on CTL carbon steel plate from China and the termination of the suspended investigations on CTL carbon steel plate from Russia and Ukraine would be likely to lead to the continuation or recurrence of material injury to an industry in the United States within a reasonably foreseeable time.45

On 27 January 2021, the US Commission started the anti-dumping and countervailing investigation regarding the imports of granular polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) resin from India and Russia.46 In a preliminary determination published on 19 March 2021 the Commission found that an industry in the United States would be materially injured by imports of granular PTFE resin from India and Russia as it was alleged they would be sold in the United States at less than fair value and would be subsidised by the governments of India and Russia.47

On 30 June 2021, the US Commission started an anti-dumping and countervailing investigation into the imports of urea ammonium nitrate solutions from Russia and Trinidad and Tobago.48 The Commission will determine whether there is a reasonable indication that an industry in the United States would be materially injured or threatened with material injury, or the establishment of an industry in the United States would be materially retarded, by the imports, which, allegedly, would be subsidised and sold in the United States at less than fair value.49 The investigation is in the preliminary phase.

In addition, Ukraine introduced the following restrictive measures against goods from EAEU countries.

  1. In July 2019, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of aluminium car wheels originating in China and Russia.50 On 25 June 2020, the investigating authority extended the duration of the investigation to 18 months.51 The investigation was suspended on 16 January 2021 by the Interdepartmental Commission on International Trade (ICIT) without the imposition of a measure as the petitioner in the investigation was declared bankrupt and was legally unable to manufacture or sell products, or enter into any economic and legal transactions. In addition, the ICIT found that the application of final anti-dumping measures would be contrary to the national interests of Ukraine.52
  2. In August 2019, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into imports of mineral fertilisers containing nitrogen and phosphorus, and mineral fertilisers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, regardless of the country of origin and export. On 26 May 2020, the investigating authority, the ICIT, decided to extend the duration of the investigation for up to 300 days.53 On 24 June 2020, Ukraine suspended the investigation without the imposition of safeguard measures.54 Notably, Russian companies are among the key suppliers of these products on the Ukrainian market.
  3. In August 2019, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into imports of some nitrogen fertilisers (in particular, ammonium nitrate and lime-ammonium nitrate, and urea and urea-ammonium mixtures).55 On 24 June 2020, Ukraine suspended the investigation without imposing safeguard measures.56 As with mineral imports, Russian companies are also among the key suppliers of nitrogen fertilisers on the Ukrainian market. Subsequently, the ICIT decision was challenged by the petitioner in court. The petitioner stated that the ICIT should have imposed safeguard measures. As a result, on 31 March 2021, the court obliged the ICIT to impose definitive safeguard measures on the results of the investigation based on the main facts and conclusions of the investigating authority.57 However, such safeguard measures have not been applied at the time of writing. The respondent in the case is currently trying to appeal the court decision.
  4. In October 2019, Ukraine initiated a sunset review of anti-dumping measures applied to imports of railroad switches originating from Russia.58 On 19 December 2020, the anti-dumping measures of 59.4 per cent59 were prolonged for the next five years.60
  5. In December 2019, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into imports of syringes.61 On 4 September 2020, the investigation was concluded without the imposition of safeguard measures.62 This investigation will have only a minor impact on Ukraine's trade relationship with EAEU countries.
  6. In February 2020, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into imports of caustic soda.63 Russian companies are among the largest exporters of caustic soda into Ukraine. On 5 September 2020, the investigation was suspended without the imposition of safeguard measures due to the petitioners withdrawing the petition.64
  7. In February 2020, Ukraine launched a safeguard investigation into imports of polymeric materials. On 28 May 2020, the ICIT decided to apply preliminary measures in the form of safeguard duties of 18 per cent for 200 days.65 Products of this kind originating from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan were excluded from the scope of the preliminary safeguard duties. On 22 June 2020, the ICIT substantially decreased the scope of the measure by excluding from the investigation products that were not produced in Ukraine. On 21 September 2020, the ICIT ended the investigation and imposed a safeguard duty of 12.4 per cent for a three-year period. Products originating from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are not subject to this safeguard duty.66
  8. In May 2020, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into imports of fresh cut roses.67 On 21 April 2021, the investigation was concluded. The ICIT imposed a 56 per cent safeguard duty for a three-year period, with liberalisation of the measure to follow.68 This investigation will not have a significant impact on Ukraine's trade relationship with EAEU countries.
  9. On 25 June 2020, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of plywood originating from Belarus.69 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  10. On 28 July 2020, Ukraine initiated a sunset review of the anti-dumping measures against imports of incandescent electric general-purpose lamps originating from Kyrgyzstan.70 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  11. On 28 July 2020, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation against the imports of cables.71 The procedural time frame for finishing the investigation was in April–May 2021. However, the ICIT decision is still not published in the Official Gazette of the Ukrainian government.
  12. On 25 November 2020, the ICIT imposed a safeguard duty of 16.08 per cent on the import of steel bars originating from Belarus due to discriminatory and unfriendly actions on the part of Belarus.72 The application of such a safeguard duty is permitted according to Article 29 of the Law of Ukraine on Foreign Economic Activity. Namely, when there is information from other states, customs unions or economic alignments that restricts the realisation of legal rights and interests of economic entities of Ukraine engaged in foreign economic activity, the state organs of Ukraine are entitled to implement adequate measures in response to those acts. Measures in response to discriminatory or unfriendly acts of other states, customs unions or economic alignments are:
    • application of absolute prohibition (absolute embargo) of trade;
    • application of partial prohibition (partial embargo) of trade;
    • deprivation of the most-favoured-nation treatment;
    • introduction of a special duty;
    • introduction of a licensing or quotas regime for foreign economic transactions;
    • initiation of quotas (contingencies);
    • introduction of a combined regime of quotas and contingencies;
    • introduction of indicative prices in terms of commodities import or export; and
    • other measures provided for by the laws and international treaties of Ukraine.73

The ICIT established that the current legislation of Belarus provides for export prohibitions and restrictions on the export of waste and scrap of ferrous metals, including to the territory of Ukraine. In the opinion of Ukraine, such actions of Belarus contradict the provisions of the free trade agreement (FTA) between Ukraine and Belarus and the Treaty on a Free Trade Area between members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (the CIS Agreement) and, therefore, shall be considered as discriminatory and unfriendly.

  1. On 25 November 2020, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of thermal insulation materials originating from Belarus and Russia.74 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  2. On 25 November 2020, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports of wood chip boards originating from Belarus and Russia.75 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  3. On 21 April 2021, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation concerning the import of potato starch originating in Belarus.76 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  4. On 21 April 2021, Ukraine initiated an anti-dumping investigation into imports into Ukraine of certain types of asphalt or similar material originating in Belarus and Russia.77 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  5. On 22 April 2021, the ICIT imposed a safeguard duty of 35 per cent on imports into Ukraine of some buses, trucks and special vehicles originating from Belarus due to discriminatory and unfriendly actions on the part of Belarus. As mentioned, the application of this type of safeguard duty is permitted according to Article 29 of the Law of Ukraine on Foreign Economic Activity. Namely, it was established that the government of Belarus had created artificial barriers against wheeled vehicles imported from Ukraine in the form of recycling fees and unequal conditions of participation in public procurement. Such actions were found to complicate access to Belarusian markets and were not in line with the provisions of the FTA between Ukraine and Belarus and the CIS Agreement.78 The Belarusian importer and producer of buses, trucks and special vehicles appealed the ICIT decision to the court. As a result, the court stated that the decision would be suspended, as Ukraine failed to conduct negotiations with Belarus before imposing measures as was prescribed in the FTA between Belarus and Ukraine, under the CIS Agreement and the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.79 However, such safeguard measures have not been applied at the time of writing. The respondent in the case is currently trying to appeal the court decision.
  6. On 27 May 2021, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into the import of sodium hypochlorite.80 The investigation is pending at the time of writing.
  7. On 1 June 2021, Ukraine initiated a safeguard investigation into the import of ceramic tiles.81 However, after one of the key ceramic tiles producers exited the project, the petitioner, the Ukrainian Association of Ceramic Tile Manufacturers, submitted an application for the early completion of the investigation without the application of safeguard measures. The investigation was thus suspended on 23 July 2021.

Legal framework

As indicated in the previous edition of The International Trade Law Review, changes to the current EAEU trade defence regime continue to be the subject of ongoing discussions, including during the past year. However, there have been no significant amendments or alterations to the principal piece of legislation, the Protocol on the Application of Safeguard, Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures to Third Countries,82 during this period.

Recent changes to the regime

As discussed in last year's edition, the EAEU Member States continue to be very active in negotiating free trade regimes with third parties. In September 2019, during the United Nations General Assembly, representatives of India and the EAEU discussed the final procedural stage in the establishment of the FTA between India and the EAEU.83 The FTA appears to be on the cards this year, according to statements made by several Kremlin sources.84 On 20 June 2019, Russia launched negotiations with South Korea on investment and a trade in services agreement. To date, Russia and South Korea have held five rounds of negotiations, reaching a consensus on how to open their service markets and how to organise their FTA.85 Nevertheless, at the time of writing, the FTA has not been established. In October 2019, Uzbek government officials announced that Uzbekistan will aim to complete FTA negotiations with the EAEU by the end of 2021.86 In March 2020, Uzbekistan announced that it wished to become an EAEU observer state.87 On 15 March 2021, the First Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan stated that Uzbekistan has approved a roadmap for developing its interaction with the EAEU. A host of issues have been raised with regard to harmonising legislation, including customs tariff and non-tariff regulation. In addition, the roadmap entails manufacturing industry, transport, standards and technical regulation.88

The first consultations for the creation of an FTA between the EAEU and Iran are being planned this year. The temporary agreement, signed in 2019, stated that the FTA would be created within three years.89 In June 2021, an FTA between Egypt and the EAEU was drafted.90 An FTA was also being negotiated between Mongolia and the EAEU in June 2021.91

On 10 July 2021, an FTA between the EAEU and Serbia came into force.92 The FTA not only harmonises the terms of trade in goods between Serbia and Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia (there are already binding bilateral agreements on free trade among these countries), but creates a similar regime for Armenian and Kyrgyz goods, for which preferences were previously absent when accessing the Serbian market. In addition to prescribing tariff obligations, the FTA is designed to guarantee stability, predictability and transparency in the implementation of trade operations. For example, it introduces obligations for members to comply with international standards for the application of licensing procedures; prohibitions and quantitative restrictions; technical regulations; and sanitary and phytosanitary measures. Moreover, it regulates levied fees on the passage of border procedures; the application of anti-dumping, countervailing and safeguard measures; and the protection of intellectual property rights.93

On 17 May 2021, the new trade-liberalising decision of the EEC was published. In accordance with this decision, the duty-free regime for imports into the territory of the EAEU of certain products necessary to prevent the pandemic has been extended until 30 June 2022.94

On 29 June 2021, the Collegium of the EEC adopted the Decision on Amending Section 2.25 of the Unified List of Goods to which Prohibitions or Restrictions on Import or Export by the Member States of the Customs Union within the Eurasian Economic Community in Trade with Third Countries are applied. In accordance with the decision, raw cane sugar without flavouring or colouring additives will be excluded from the list of products to which the mentioned restrictions apply.95

The Collegium also adopted Decision No. 30 on 15 June 2021, according to which the temporary ban on the export of buckwheat was replaced by temporary quantitative restrictions on the export of these products from the EAEU customs territory. These temporary quantitative restrictions will be in effect until 31 August 2021.96

From 1 January 2022, a ban on the export of round timber will be introduced in Russia. The purpose of this decision is to decriminalise the industry and develop deep processing in the state. The scale of the shadow economy in this sector cannot be estimated. At the end of 2020, the Russian government developed a large-scale plan, the first step of which was to adopt new legislation.97 On 2 July 2021, the President of Russia signed a package of laws to ensure the reform of the forestry complex. In addition to the export ban, one of the components of this process will be the compulsory trade in wood on the stock exchange. According to the amendments to the Forestry Code, from 1 January 2022 wood harvested by state or municipal institutions can only be sold at organised auctions.98

With regard to active EAEU trade investigations under quarantine conditions, the EEC has been effectively applying digital methods to the conduct of investigations by uploading all the materials relevant to a particular investigation to a specific electronic account and providing the interested parties with access to it. Through the electronic account, therefore, the interested parties can analyse and make comments on the submitted non-confidential version of the complaint or questionnaire answers submitted by the other interested parties in the investigation. Also, the EEC has been quite consistent in granting additional extensions of the deadline for interested parties to submit documents necessary for trade investigations. However, interested parties must first provide objective facts and reasoning as to why they are unable to submit necessary documents on time. As a basis for a request of extension, interested parties may rely on restrictive quarantine measures in the country of origin that impede the effective preparation of such documents within the initial deadline.

Significant legal and practical developments

As indicated in the previous edition of The International Trade Law Review, there have been changes in the enforcement practice of the DIMD in recent years, especially regarding the standard for proving injury to domestic industry.

With regard to the case on anti-dumping duties against Ukrainian steel railway wheels, described in the previous edition, after the expiration of anti-dumping measures, on 6 February 2021 the Russian government imposed a ban on imports of these products originating from Ukraine.99

The escalation of the trade and economic conflict between Ukraine and Russia deserves special attention. Recently, the countries have introduced new sanctions that ban imports of each other's goods.

In Russia, two valid normative legal acts established a list of products prohibited from being imported into Russia from Ukraine. The first of these is the Resolution of the Government of 7 August 2014, No. 778.100 The government adopted this resolution in pursuance of the Decree of the President dated 6 August 2014 No. 560 on the application of certain special economic measures to ensure the security of the Russian Federation.101 These legal acts prohibit or limit the possibility to import into Russia certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food whose country of origin has imposed economic sanctions against Russian legal or individuals or supported the decision of another country to do so. Since 1 January 2016, this ban is in effect for Ukraine. By the Decree of the President of 21 November 2020, No. 730, this ban was extended until 31 December 2021.102

The second legal act is the Decree of the Government of 29 December 2018, No. 1716-83, which was adopted following the Decree of the President of 22 October 2018, No. 592 on the application of special economic measures due to unfriendly actions of Ukraine to citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation.103 The Decree bans imports of products into Russia that originate from or move through the territory of Ukraine. The time frame of the legal force of this act is not defined, but it is stated that the government may decide to suspend the imposed measures if Ukraine cancels the restrictive measures imposed on specific Russian products.

In Ukraine, the relevant existing sanctions towards Russian products and legal entities are provided in the Decree of the President on the decision of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine dated 14 May 2020 on the application, cancellation and amendments to personal special economic and other restrictive measures (sanctions)104 and the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated 30 December 2015, No. 1147 on the prohibition of the import into the customs territory of Ukraine of products originating from the Russian Federation.105 The latter introduced a ban on the import of some Russian products into the customs territory of Ukraine until 31 December 2021.

On 1 April 2021, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine broadened the scope of banned Russian products by the new Resolution (No. 1147).106 Namely, the government added to the list of prohibited goods originating from Russia: wheat and a mixture of wheat and rye (meslin); sunflower oil; detergents and cleaning products; newsprint paper in rolls or sheets; paper and cardboard for writing, printing or other graphic purposes; kraft paper and kraft paperboard; toilet paper; hand towels in rolls; alloy steel wire; tools for drilling rocks or soil; and carts, axles and wheels (carriage products). The Regulation is valid until 31 December 2021.

In response to these actions of Ukraine, on 28 June 2021, the Russian government expanded the list of prohibited imports of goods originating from Ukraine.107 It is now prohibited to import into the territory of Russia the following Ukrainian products: sugar; pasta; fat-free cocoa paste; some products from corn and cereals; muesli; ketchup; mayonnaise; sauces and the products for making them; ready-made soups; broths and the products for making them; ice cream; sweet water; barley; palm oil and its fractions in net containers weighing 20 tonnes or less; ready-made or canned products from meat; crustaceans and shellfish; corn starch; cake; products for livestock feed; enzymes and enzyme preparations; some types of timber; and packaging made of wood.

Ukraine has also encountered some difficulties in conducting trade with Belarus in recent months. On 26 May 2021, the Belarusian government introduced an individual licensing regime for imports of a number of Ukrainian products. These include confectionery, chocolate, juices, beer, chipboard and fibreboard, wallpaper, toilet paper, cardboard and paper packaging, bricks, ceramic tiles, glass ampoules, radiators, agricultural machinery, washing machines and furniture. The understanding in Ukraine is that such actions were made purely for economic reasons; however, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the restriction of Ukrainian imports was a response to unfriendly actions on the Ukrainian side. Belarus believes that by imposing the trade restrictive measures on some Belarusian products, Ukraine violated the rules of the CIS Agreement. It is also understood that Belarus will suspend this regime if Ukraine reconsiders trade restrictive measures on Belarusian products.108

Trade disputes

i World Trade Organization dispute settlement

EAEU countries as the dispute complainant

Among the five current member countries of the EAEU, Russia remains the most active user of the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement system.

The case DS554: United States – Certain Measures on Steel and Aluminium Products initiated by Russia on 29 June 2018 continues to proceed very slowly.

On 4 September 2019, the chair of the panel informed the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) that, because of the complexity of the issues before the panel and the fact that the same three persons had been appointed to serve as panellists in multiple proceedings, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties no earlier than autumn 2020. In its communication, the chair also informed the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it had been circulated to WTO Members in all three official languages, with the date of circulation dependent on completion of the translations.109

On 8 February 2021, the panel informed the DSB that due to the delays caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the panel now expects to issue its final report to the parties in the second half of 2021.110

EAEU countries as the dispute respondent

EAEU countries more often act as the respondents in trade disputes.

In DS475: Russian Federation – Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and Other Pig Products from the European Union, following lengthy compliance proceedings that took up a large part of 2017–2019, on 28 January 2020, the chair of the panel informed the DSB that it had granted the EU's request of 24 January 2020 to suspend its work pursuant to Article 12.12 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). In its communication, the panel noted that its authority would lapse on 28 January 2021 unless the EU indicated that it wished the panel to recommence its work.111 On 29 January 2021, the Secretariat issued a note stating that the panel had not been requested to resume its work and thus, pursuant to Article 12.12 of the DSU, the panel's authority lapsed on 28 January 2021.112

DS530: Kazakhstan – Anti-dumping measures on steel pipes has made little significant progress since July 2018. The only development occurred on 7 September 2018, when Ukraine supplemented its consultation request of 19 September 2017. Ukraine referred to Kazakhstan's failure to implement the findings of the investigating authority in the interim review of the anti-dumping duty on steel pipes, initiated in October 2017, concluding that the duties should be decreased.113

DS530 was supported by similar cases initiated by Ukraine, namely DS569: Armenia – Anti-Dumping Measures on Steel Pipes and DS570: Kyrgyz Republic – Anti-Dumping Measures on Steel Pipes. These two cases have made no significant progress.

Another case featuring Russia as a respondent is DS566: Russian Federation – Additional Duties on Certain Products from the United States. On 27 August 2018, the United States requested consultations with Russia concerning the imposition by Russia of additional duties with respect to certain products originating in the United States. On 8 January 2019, the United States requested the Director General of the WTO to establish the panel. The Director General duly did this on 25 January 2019. On 4 September 2019, the chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties by the second half of 2020. In its communication, the chair also informed the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it had been circulated to the WTO Members in all three official languages, with the date of circulation dependent on completion of the translations.114 On 8 February 2021, the panel informed the DSB that due to the delays caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the panel expects to issue its final report to the parties in the second half of 2021.115

On 22 July 2021, the EU requested consultations with Russia in the WTO regarding certain Russian measures that restrict or prevent EU companies from selling goods and services to Russian state-owned enterprises and other entities through procurement for commercial purposes.116 Russia has gradually expanded its import substitution policy since 2015 through the use of various restrictions and incentives. It aims to replace the use of foreign goods and services in procurement contracts by certain state-related entities, and by legal entities in investment projects financed by the state. This will have a significant economic impact for EU companies. In 2019, the value of published tenders by state-owned enterprises amounted to 23.5 trillion roubles, which is equivalent to 21 per cent of Russia's GDP. The EU's request for consultations concerns three issues:

  1. discriminatory assessments of procurement bids (there is a 15 to 30 per cent discount in valuation for Russian suppliers);
  2. the requirement to obtain prior authorisation for the purchase of certain engineering products; and
  3. national quota requirements in procurement (up to 90 per cent of approximately 250 products should be Russian).117

Footnotes

1 Sergey Lakhno is a counsel at International Law Firm Integrites.

79 https://www.uacourt.openregister.info/okremi-protsesualni-pytannya-41451/zayava-pro-
zabezpechennya-pozovu-abo-dokaziv-41452?document=97759193.

82 Annex No. 8 to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union.

95 https://docs.eaeunion.org/Pages/DisplayDocument.aspx?s={e1f13d1d-5914-465c-835f-2aa3762eddda}&w=9260b414-defe-45cc-88a3-eb5c73238076&l={8a412e96-924f-4b3c-8321-0d5e767e5f91}&EntityID=29653.

96 https://docs.eaeunion.org/Pages/DisplayDocument.aspx?s={e1f13d1d-5914-465c-835f-2aa3762eddda}&w=9260b414-defe-45cc-88a3-eb5c73238076&l={8a412e96-924f-4b3c-8321-0d5e767e5f91}&EntityID=29589.

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