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Russia to introduce import duties on some Moldavian goods

August 01, 2014, 12:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Duties will be paid on meat, fruit and vegetables, grain, sugar, beer and furniture — a total of 19 items

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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Pochuyev

MOSCOW, August 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Import duties on some Moldavian goods will come into force in Russia on August 30, according to the decree signed on July 31 and available on the legal information portal.

Duties will be paid on meat, fruit and vegetables, grain, sugar, beer and furniture - a total of 19 items and be similar to duties on goods imported from the countries enjoying the most favoured nation status in political relations with Russia.

Moldavian imports were previously exempt from duties, as Moldova had a free trade agreement with Russia. Russian measure followed Moldova’s association with the EU. According to the agreement awaiting ratification by the European Parliament, the Republic of Moldova should as soon as possible introduce European technical rules and standards that contravene Russian and the Customs Union rules.

On July 18, Russia decided to limit Moldavian fruit import. The ban on Moldavian wine supplies was introduced last year.

The limitations have already harmed the Moldavian agricultural market, experts say. Over the first six months of 2014, Moldavian winemakers lost 2 million euros on Russian wine embargo and the situation in Ukraine, said the country’s Deputy Agricultural Minister Gheorghe Gaberi. Russia used to be Moldova’s major wine importer, he added.

The ban on fruit and vegetable imports will not be so dramatic since re-export accounted for up to 60% of the total supplies, said head of the independent Moldavian analytical centre Expert-Grup Adrian Lupu·or.

Moldova used to be Russia’s second largest apple supplier after Poland, annually exporting about 180,000 tonnes. According to former Deputy Prime Minister Igor Dodon, Moldova will be unable to reorient exports to the EU that has high quality standards and quotas that allow Moldavian exporters to supply no more than 40,000 tonnes of apples a year.

Moldova has already turned to the World Bank for compensations of 150 million farmers’ losses.

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