14:58 GMT +323 January 2020
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    A new tariff Ukraine decided to impose on Russian chocolate and cocoa products appears to be a prohibitive measure aimed at getting rid of the competition rather than an antidumping duty as Kiev claims.

    Previously, the Ukrainian Inter-Agency Commission on Foreign Trade claimed that an investigation into Russian chocolate and cocoa product imports in 2015 revealed evidence of price dumping perpetrated by Russian companies.

    Citing the damage allegedly inflicted upon Ukrainian chocolate manufacturers by these actions, Ukrainian authorities have imposed a 31.33 percent antidumping tariff against all chocolate and chocolate sweets imported from Russia for the next five years.

    However, Aza Migranyan, Doctor of Economics at the Institute of CIS Countries, told RT that this new tariff is unreasonably high and is essentially a prohibitive measure.

    "As per WTO standards a 40 percent rate is basically a prohibitive rate," she explained.

    Migranyan added that Russian chocolate manufacturers are unlikely to suffer any significant losses due to this tariff as the chocolate market is pretty big and is not limited to Ukraine alone.

    Furthermore, she pointed out that this 'chocolate tariff' may in fact be politically motivated.

    "The nature of this business is also a factor. Namely, one should keep in mind who is the flagship of chocolate manufacturing in Ukraine, as it helps explain the reason for these swift and abnormal decisions," Migranyan said, referring to the Roshen Confectionery Corporation, founded and owned by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.

    She also remarked that the evidence collection procedure employed by Ukraine in this case looks sketchy at best, and that per WTO rules this matter should’ve been handled by international arbitration.

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    Tags:
    chocolate, prohibition, import tariffs, Roshen, Petro Poroshenko, Russia, Ukraine
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