EU files first WTO case against Russia

CNC report from Beijing
Added On July 10, 2013

The European Union on Tuesday launched its first trade dispute with Russia to the WTO, challenging the latter's so-called "recycling fee" on imported vehicles.

According to a statement released by the EU, the fee has to be paid for all vehicles imported from the EU.

The fee for different kinds of cars ranges from 420 euros (that's 540 U.S. dollars) to as high as just under 148,000 euros.

The EU believes that the aim of Russia's "recycling fee" is not to protect the environment. 

The EU believes the environmental objectives can be achieved very effectively without applying such high and discriminatory fees imposed by Russia.

The EU has repeatedly voiced its concerns regarding the "recycling fee" in bilateral discussions with Russia, both before and after its introduction on  September 1st last year.

Last year, the value of EU vehicle exports to Russia topped 10 billion euros.

The fee contributes 1.3 billion euros annually in Russian government revenues.

The WTO consultations allows the EU and Russia to find a satisfactory solution without resorting to litigation.

If the two sides can not find a solution in 60 days, the EU may ask the WTO to set up panel to rule on the legality of Russia's measures.