Russia Takes Final Steps to Join the World Trade Organization (WTO)


On July 10, 2012 the Russian State Duma ratified the Protocol on Accession to the WTO. Russia will become a member of the WTO on the 30th day after the relevant federal law comes into force.

On July 10, 2012 the Russian State Duma passed a federal law (the "Ratification Law") on the Ratification of the Protocol on the Accession of Russia to the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (the "WTO Accession Protocol"). Within the next few days the Ratification Law should be accepted by the Russian Federal Council, signed by the President and officially published. The Ratification Law will come into force on the 10th calendar day following its official publication.

In accordance with the WTO rules Russia will become a member of the WTO within 30 days after the Ratification Law comes into force. In other words, by the end of this summer, as was previously agreed with the WTO, Russia will become the 156th member of this organization.

As a member of the WTO Russia will be bound by obligations arising out of the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO, as well as Russia's commitments on market access under the WTO Accession Protocol. The WTO Accession Protocol establishes a transition period for liberalization that is generally 2–3 years for goods (5–7 years for the most sensitive goods) and 3–9 years for services in 11 services sectors and 116 sub-sectors. As a WTO member Russia will gain equal market access for its goods and services to other WTO member states, as well as access to the effective foreign trade instruments provided by the WTO, including safeguards and dispute settlement rules.

For further information please contact Alexander Bychkov, Vladimir Efremov or Andrey Gavrilov in the Moscow office of Baker & McKenzie, tel +7 495 787 2700.