EU - Russia deal could end log export tariffs
Reuters reported this week that Russia and the European Union struck a deal on Wednesday to phase out Russian export tariffs on raw materials.This is designed to smooth the way for Moscow’s entry into the WTO. First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said “We have … an agreement on a text on raw materials,” A phasing-out of export taxes “will be imposed from the time we ratify our accession to the WTO,” he said.
Russia’s willingness to phase out export duties on raw materials such as timber - which drive up the cost of inputs for European manufacturers such as the Nordic timber and paper industries - removes a European veto on Russia’s accession.
A report later in the week says that an official with direct knowledge of the negotiations said that Russia plans to cut its timber export duty to about 15 percent of customs value from 25 percent as part of talks with the European Union on its bid to join the WTO. Details of the timber agreement are expected to be announced at an EU-Russia summit on 7 December Paivi Nevala, an adviser to Finnish Foreign Trade and Development Minister Paavo Vayrynen said. Source: Reuters