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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Poultry Tariffs May Be Raised by a Third

Russia, locked in a dispute with the United States over the safety of poultry imports, is considering raising tariffs on imported poultry by one-third, a government official said on Monday.

As talks proceeded on the drafting of a new veterinary certificate demanded by Russia for imports from next month, U.S. exporters announced a suspension of shipments to the country.

Alexander Filippov, a senior tariff policy department official at the Economic Development and Trade Ministry, said the ministry was considering raising the existing 25 percent tariff on poultry imports by 8.3 percentage points, but by no less than 0.067 euros ($0.066) per kilogram.

Under the current system, the tariff can stand at no less than 0.2 euros per kilogram.

Filippov said the Commission for Protective Measures in Foreign Trade, a government panel responsible for drafting resolutions on customs tariffs, was meeting to discuss setting the new tariff by the end of the year.

A tariff normally takes effect one month after a resolution is published in the government newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta.

The commission decided last week to investigate possible damage to the poultry industry from imports, which rose to 1.3 million tons in 2001, a 30 percent increase.

Tariff increases could further complicate imports from the United States, the largest supplier of poultry meat to Russia.

Russia, the main consumer of U.S. chicken and turkey, with 2001 imports at $640 million, in March imposed a month-long ban on U.S. supplies, citing worries about the use of antibiotics and salmonella contamination.

Negotiators pressed on with further talks after U.S. officials reported progress in coming up with a new veterinary certificate.

Moscow has made the drafting of a new certificate a condition for issuing permits for U.S. imports from next month.

The negotiators have already missed an initial deadline of June 30 for creating the new document. Moscow insists it will accept no new imports after Aug. 1 without it.

Albert Davleyev, head of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council office in Moscow, said U.S. exporters had suspended new poultry meat shipments to Russia.

"No one is currently loading new ships, everybody is waiting for an agreement on the new certificate," Davleyev said.

He said U.S. poultry imports to Russia would be around 400,000 tons in the first seven months of this year, a 40 percent decline on the same period of 2001.