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Russian government submits protocol on changes to WTO agreements to parliament

The protocol implies inclusion of an agreement on simplifying trade procedures to the WTO agreement

MOSCOW, January 12. /TASS/. Russia’s government has submitted to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) a protocol, which implies changes to the Marrakesh Agreement on establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO).

According to the information placed on Duma’s electronic base, the protocol implies inclusion of an agreement on simplifying trade procedures to the WTO agreement. The text of the agreement on simplifying trade was approved at the ministerial conference of the WTO in December 2013 and adopted at the meeting of the general council of the organization in November 2014.

The agreement was developed "for the purpose of further acceleration of movement and output of goods, including transit of goods, acceleration and simplification of customs procedures, reduction of costs related to trade, provision of clearance, efficiency and transparency of related customs procedures," the document said. The agreement outlines the provisions of the General agreement regarding tariffs and trade from 1994 related to the rules of collecting payments and charges for procedures related to import and export as well as formalities related to import, export and transit.

Besides, "the agreement contains a block of provisions related to cooperation between relevant authorities responsible for control at the customs border, including cooperation of customs bodies," the document said.

Also, one of the items of the agreement includes provisions concerning special and differentiated regime for developing and least developed countries, particularly certain outtakes are implied for such countries.

"According to preliminary calculations, benefits of implementation of the provisions of the agreement for global economy will total from $40 bln to $1 trillion thanks to customs cost reduction by 10-15%, increase of trade flows and revenues, creation of sustainable business environment and attraction of foreign investment," an accompanying document said.

According to the WTO regulations, amendments to the agreement on organization come into force after two thirds of the WTO member-states adopt those changes.