Russia, a major importer of apples, will slash import duties on this fruit by nearly half after joining the World Trade Organistion, and then further half the duty by 2017, according to FruitInform’s website, citing Interfax.
The import duty on pears will be reduced by half by 2015, according to a document outlining Russia's obligations upon accession to the WTO, obtained by Interfax.
The current duty on apples imported from January 1 to March 31, from April 1 to June 30, is 0.10 euros/kg. Once Russia joins the WTO, which is expected to happen by the middle of 2012, the duty will drop to 0.06 euros and by 2017 it is supposed to decrease to 0.03 euros (to 0.015 euros/kg for apples imported from April 1 to July 30).
The duty is set to drop to 0.054 euros in 2013, 0.048 euros in 2014, 0.042 euros in 2015, and 0.036 euros in 2016; the decline in duties for imports between April 1 and July 30 will be the same except in 2016, when this duty will be 0.031 euros/kg.
The duty on apple imports from August 1 to December 31 is currently 0.20 euros per kg, depending on the type of product, and will drop to 0.06 euros and 0.03 euros by 2017.
Russia is supposed to cut the 10% import duty on pears in half by 2015, keeping it at this level upon joining the WTO, but then reducing it to 8.3% in 2013, 6.7% in 2014 and 5% in 2015.
Russia was the biggest importer of apples and pears in 2010, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture. Apple shipments reached 1.11 million tonnes (US$719 million) in 2010, and could grow to 1.12 million tonnes this year, largely due to an increase in imports from Europe.
The main suppliers of apples to Russia are Poland with over 250,000 tonnes, China with about 160,000 tonnes and Moldova with about 150,000 tonnes. CIS countries account for 20% of imports.
Apples account for a quarter of the Russian fruit market, which measured 1.53 million tonnes, or 11.1 kg per person per year, in 2010, and is set to grow to 1.54 million tonnes this year.
Russian pear imports totaled 409,900 tonnes, or $424.6 million in 2010, up by 7% and 20% respectively from 2009. Analysts expect imports to increase to 412,000 tonnes this year. This will primarily be pears from Belgium, France and Spain.
The biggest suppliers of pears to the Russian market in 2010 were Belgium with about 140,000 tonnes, Argentina with about 110,000 tonnes, and the Netherlands with about 50,000 tonnes. About 60% of Europe's pears are sold in Russia.
Russia consumed 492,000 tonnes of pears, or 3.4 kg per person, in 2010. The market could grow to 497,000 tonnes this year. Source: lol.org.ua