On 12 August, a WTO dispute settlement panel confirmed that Russian import duties on paper, refrigerators and palm oil violate WTO rules. According to the panel, the import duties exceed those Russia agreed to when it joined the WTO in August 2012. This marks the first case ever decided in the WTO against Russia. The EU has initiated dispute settlement procedures on a variety of other trade barriers imposed by Russia, including recycling fees on cars, a ban on import of pigs and pork, and antidumping duties on light commercial vehicles. Russia has 60 days to appeal the WTO’s panel Report.
On 19 August, Russia’s import ban on live pigs, fresh pork and other pig products from the EU was declared illegal by a WTO panel in light of international trade rules. The ruling is in regard to a ban which Russia imposed in early 2014 due to a limited number of cases of African Swine Fever in areas in the EU close to its border with Belarus. The panel concluded that Russia’s measure was not based on international standards and violates WTO rules on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. If Russia does not file an appeal within 60 days, the report will be adopted and Russia will be obligated to comply with the recommendation.