Ukraine Joins WTO; Offers Extensive Market-Access Commitments

Ukraine is joining the WTO today as its 152nd Member after concluding fourteen years of negotiations. Ukraine has offered extensive market-access liberalization and non-discriminatory treatment in areas including agriculture and industrial goods, services, intellectual property rights, and other reforms. Highlights of Ukraine’s accession agreement include:

  • Agriculture and biotechnology: Reduction of its average bound tariffs on agriculture goods to 11.1 percent; expand tariff rate quotas (TRQs) including for sugar; relax export restrictions on wheat, oilseeds and other products; and phase out export subsidies and many forms of domestic support. Moreover, Ukraine will adhere to international standards in accordance with the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) including for imports of beef, pork, poultry and biotechnology products.


  • Industrial goods: Reduction of its average bound tariffs on industrial goods to 4.6 percent, and most by 2010. Moreover, Ukraine joined most of the zero-tariff agreements including the Information Technology Agreement (ITA), and also for civil aircraft, distilled spirits, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, furniture, non-ferrous metals, paper, toys and other goods. It will also reduce export duties on non-ferrous metals and steel scrap.


  • Services: Wide-sweeping access to most of its service sectors with very few limitations on foreign equity, including 100-percent foreign ownership in banking and financial services (with a five-year phase out for insurance branching), professional, telecommunications, audio-visual, transport, distribution, environment, energy, and most other services.


  • Intellectual property rights, other rules:
Agreement to implement most WTO rules upon accession including on intellectual property rights enforcement, customs valuation, technical barriers to trade, trade remedies, trade-related investment measures, and other disciplines.


Ukraine will become one of the most open economies in the WTO based on its commitments. In doing so, Ukraine is taking a gamble that its openness will attract significant foreign investment and expand trade, and expedite its transition to a market-driven economy.


This international regulatory bulletin is prepared by: Mark D. Nguyen, Senior Advisor at the International Trade Department, Bryan Cave LLP

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