Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said this week that the 2012 tariff rate quota (TRQ) for poultry will be 330,000 metric tons and for pork will be set at 350,000 tons. Putin’s announcement was made as Russia continues to lobby for entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).  Several trade issues with Russia remain unresolved, including a number involving food safety regulations that are being used as non-tariff trade barriers.  “Other parameters are being discussed at negotiations on the [Russian] accession to the WTO.  However, these parameters may be accepted only when Russia becomes a full WTO member,” Putin said.

“We, Russia, will consume about 3.5 million tons of poultry this year, but only 3.15 million tons will be produced locally,” Putin said.  “So, the deficit, about 330,000 tons, will be imported.”  According to Putin, in recent years, Russia had been importing more than 1 million tons of poultry annually.  The 2012 quota numbers were proposed to Putin from Russia’s Economic Development Ministry and the Agriculture Ministry.  “We presuppose the gradual, consistent reduction in meat import quotas,” said Ilya Shesatkov, head of the agricultural ministry’s Food Market Regulation Department.  Originally, this year’s poultry imports were expected to be 600,000 tons, which will now be 350,000 tons.  “Import duties will stay at 15 percent for products imported by quotas, while import duties on products imported above that quota will be prohibitive, at 75 percent,” Putin said.  “We expect that the domestic demand for poultry will be saturated by 2013, and for pork by 2015,” Shesatkov added.

Russia today officially published the details for its 2012 meat and poultry TRQ program.  These are:

1. Chicken leg quarters and cuts, frozen (0207 14 200 1) – 250,000 tons

2. De-boned chicken and turkey, frozen (0207 14 100 1  and 0207 27 100 1) – 80,000 tons

3. Pork, fresh, chilled or frozen (0203) – 320,000 tons

4. Pork trimmings – 30,000 tons

5. Beef, chilled or fresh (code 0201) – 30,000 metric tons

6. Beef, frozen (0202) – 530,000 tons