Ukraine: to respond Russia with utilization fee means to breach international obligations - Lawyer
Kyiv. September 4, 2012
of Ukraine, Mykola Azarov suggested introducing vehicle utilization fee
for imports from Russia in return to the similar measure introduced by
Russia, which may result in violation of international obligations and
lead to complaints from Russia and other trade partners of Ukraine,”
informed head of the international trade department of Volkov and Partners Law firm, Andrii Zablotskyi to the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
(or “mirror measures”) are often used by the members as political
pressure leverage, however being frequently contrary to the applying
country’s obligations. Thus, to introduce similar measures in return for
Russian restrictions may result in violation of Ukraine’s international
obligations,” said he.
Mr. Zablotskyi explained: for example, if
Ukraine introduced utilization fee for the specified products and the
fee would be binding only for foreign companies, Ukraine might be
regarded as a country in breach of non-discrimination principle. The
above, in its turn, is already constituted a violation of international
obligations and, all in all, may lead to Russia’s and other trade
Ukraine better not to apply “an eye for an eye”
policy with regard to international relations, as there exists a number
of regulatory agreements on international trade between Ukraine and
Russia, including agreements establishing dispute settlement procedure,”
considers Mr. Zablotskyi.
According to him, the WTO rules provide
for countermeasures only in case if the Dispute Settlement Body decides
that any of measures is inconsistent, and if a breaching party fails to
timely comply with the WTO’s decision to cancel such measure.
Lawyer believes that for Ukraine one of the ways to solve existing
conflict is to file a request for consultations with Russia under the
WTO. “Moreover, it is by no means necessary for a dispute to progress to
the stage of tribunal, because most disputes are usually resolved at
the stage of consultations,” said Mr. Zablotskyi.
Reportedly, on the
1st of September the new RF’s government order “On utilization fee with
regard to vehicles” entered into force. That means utilization fee will
be paid for each vehicle imported to or produced in the Russian
Federation in order to ensure environmental safety.
Mr. Azarov in his
turn told about an intention to consider whether to introduce
utilization fee for the items imported from the Russian Federation,
which are subject to utilization fee in Russia.
As government source
informed to “Interfax-Ukraine”, on September 5 the Cabinet of Ministers
during its session will consider draft resolution “On Introduction of
30% vehicle utilization fee for imports from Russia”.
According to Mr. Zablotskyi, during Monday session the government determined main approaches to the introduction of the fee.