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Introduction of special import duties on cars contradicts WTO norms, says lawyer Andriy Zablotsky

Kyiv, March 15, 2013

The introduction of special import duties on cars regardless of the country of origin contradicts the norms and practice of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the head of the international trade law department at Volkov & Partners law firm, Andriy Zablotsky, has told Interfax-Ukraine.

"A WTO member has the right to introduce special duties after a special investigation. Given the materials of the investigation, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry did not consider the practice of the WTO when conducting the investigation, as well as a number of important factors that, according to the WTO norms, do not allow to apply special protective measures," he said.

According to the lawyer, to apply special protective measures it is necessary to prove a causal link between the sharp, sudden and substantial increase in imports and a serious damage made to national producers as a result of such imports.

"It should be mentioned that during the period of investigation in 2008-2010 car imports declined significantly, which, according to the WTO norms, does not allow to conclude its negative effect. Moreover, import prices were higher than the prices of national producers," he explained.

In addition, Zablotsky noted that the ministry in its report did not provide a list and the justification of the influence of other factors on the national producers.
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