Russia Bans the Import of Certain Agricultural and Food Products from the US, EU, Canada, Australia, and Norway

August 07, 2014

In response to the recent round of sanctions and export restrictions imposed on Russia, Russian Federation President Putin signed a decree on 6 August 20141 (the “Decree”) effectively banning or limiting for a period of one year (beginning from 7 August 2014) the import of selected agricultural and food products from countries who have sanctioned Russia, specifically the U.S., the countries comprising the EU, Canada, Australia, and the Kingdom of Norway (the “Sanctioning Countries”). On 7 August 2014, the list of agricultural and food products (the “List”) subject to the Decree was published by the Russian Government. This latest action represents the most severe direct response to Western sanctions thus far by the Russian Government, and will certainly cause a number of repercussions for Russia and the Sanctioning Countries. Prior to today’s action, the Russian Government’s reaction to the sanctions has been one of restraint.

The Russian measures are likely to have a significant impact on agricultural exports to Russia, particularly on those coming from Europe. Agricultural/food sector companies should assess the impact of the measures and consider engagement with government officials in order to minimize the impact on their business. The EU has indicated that it is already analyzing Russia’s ban on imports from the EU and stands ready to appeal to the World Trade Organization to have the Russian agriculture import bans lifted. The EU Council is likely to convene an emergency meeting in connection with Russia's response to European sanctions.

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