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GENEVA, July 31 (Itar-Tass) - Russia and the European Union have held the first consultations on Russia’s levy on imported cars in compliance with the EU complaint, which was lodged to the World Trade Organization (WTO), a Russian official told Itar-Tass.
The two-day consultations ended in Brussels on Tuesday, the Russian official said.
The talks involved representatives of the United States, Japan, China, Ukraine and Turkey, he said.
The official declined to elaborate. He said all parties involved in the consultations “are bind with confidentiality undertaking”.
On July 9, Brussels appealed against the Russian law on the levy on imported cars. It considered it discriminatory. The levy was introduced in September 2012 and embraced all types of transport. The basic rate for cars is of 20,000 roubles while the rate for road freight transport reaches 150,000 roubles. The sum can be corrected regarding the displacement volume and the year model. According to European experts, the preferences exceed three billion euros per year.
The Russian government submitted a draft law to the State Duma, lower house of parliament, in compliance with the WTO norms. But the draft law has not been approved yet.
The European Commission believes that the levy annulled the customs duties on foreign-made cars.
At the end of July several countries sought to join the consultations. They motivated their willingness by the fact that this issue “has significant trading interest”. Representatives of these countries attended the consultations.
Under the WTO norms, since the application has been given the parties have 60 days in order to try to settle the disagreements. If consensus is not reached, the application will be given to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body.