Russia - Trade AgreementsRussia - Trade Agreements
On August 22, 2012, Russia formally joined the WTO, and on December 20, 2012, the United States established permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with Russia, enabling the United States to apply the WTO agreements with Russia.
As part of WTO accession, Russia signed the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) that provides a legal framework for addressing barriers affecting trade in professional services. In the services sector, Russia committed to substantial transparency in a broad range of sub-sectors, including the elimination of many existing limitations, such as financial services, telecommunications, distribution, energy, express delivery, professional services, and audio-visual services.
On October 18, 2011 eight countries (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan) from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) signed and then in the following years ratified a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which provides the free movement of goods within the territory of the member states. In 2013 Uzbekistan also joined by signing a separate agreement with the above eight countries. On December 30, 2015 President Putin signed Federal Law 410 Suspending the FTA between Russia and Ukraine. In response, on January 2, 2016, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers enacted a resolution No.1146 of December 30, 2015, which abolished trade preferences for goods from Russia. Both Russia and Ukraine have since continued to extend the mutual abolition of trade preferences, such that currently, there are no trade preferences between Russia and Ukraine, and instead, there is an increasing number of restrictions in Russian-Ukrainian trade in both directions.
On January 1, 2015 the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) was launched, which incorporated the regulations previously set forth in the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union (CU) formed in 2010, expanded the tariff provisions to cover services, and established unified standards and labeling requirements. The accession of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan came into force on January 2, 2015 and August 12, 2015, respectively.
In October 2016, a Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and Vietnam came into force. In December 2016, EAEU members agreed to start FTA negotiations with Iran, India, Egypt and Singapore. Serbia’s Trade Ministry has also indicated it may sign an FTA with the EAEU as early as October 2019.
Thanks to the EAEU, U.S. exporters can choose one of the five member-countries from which to receive both regulatory approvals (in the form of registration certificates) and declarations or certificates of conformity, for those products for which EAEU Technical Regulations (TRs) apply.