[WTO Case Review Series No.37] Russia — Measures Affecting the Importation of Railway Equipment and Parts Thereof: Clarification of Framework for Applying TBT Article 5

Author Name HEIKE Masahiro (Nishimura & Asahi)
Creation Date/NO. July 2021 21-P-014
Research Project Comprehensive Research on the Current International Trade/Investment System (pt.V)
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This case is one of a series of WTO dispute settlement cases which relates to the political conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine claims that Russia's measures related to Conformity Assessment Procedures which restricted the acquisition of certifications required for sales in Russia and hindered the export of Ukrainian railway equipment to Russia are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement.

The conformity assessment procedure is a procedure for demonstrating that a product conforms to technical regulations and standards. And, as confirmation through conformity assessment that products conform with technical regulations may be treated as a condition for importing and selling the product, the way the procedures are designed and conducted may have a significant impact on trade of goods. In fact, in some studies, about half of the "Specific Trade Concerns" (STCs) presented at the 2010-2014 TBT Committee were measures related to conformity assessment procedures.

As Article 5 of the TBT Agreement, which regulates the conformity assessment procedure, has not been disputed in the WTO dispute resolution procedure, this case has important significance in that it shows the legal framework for applying this provision for the first time.