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Eterna Law

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Almaty, Kiev, Moscow

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AstapovLawyers protect the interests of Belarusian importers in an oil-product imports investigation

March 2011

In January 2011 the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine began a special investigation into imports of some oil products into the country regardless of the country of origin, which may result in protective duties on oil imports. The investigation was initiated subject to an application of the Ministry of Fuel and Energy.

In this case, AstapovLawyers International Law Group represents the interests of all Belarusian importers and their Ukrainian subsidiaries with more than a 40% share of all oil imports into Ukraine, namely: Belarusian Oil Company, BOC-UKRAINE, NAFTAN, Mozyr Oil Refinery, Belorusneft, and Belorusneft-Ukraine.

Oleh Malskyy, AstapovLawyers Partner, says: "In Ukraine, special investigations have been recently initiated to enable national producers to regain their market positions after the global financial crisis. Accordingly, it is a recent tendency for Ukraine to abuse its right to special investigations, namely where special investigations are initiated by national producers regardless of what import is damaging for them. Thus, domestic producers use an unfair market practice, while the protectionism policy generally is breaching the obligations assumed by Ukraine before WTO."

It is notable that imposing special duties may have a number of negative consequences in addition to damaging the country's reputation. For example, if oil supplying countries take countermeasures, this will impair Ukraine's balance of payments. In turn, increased oil product prices will also lead to increasing prices for other consumer goods and accelerating inflation in the entire country. There will be no motivation for upgrading Ukrainian oil refineries as they are overprotected and operating in a non-market environment. Average consumers will suffer immensely, because they will have to use an expensive and low-quality product that does not comply with European quality standards.

For more information, please contact Elena Karchova, PR Director, AstapovLawyers: +38 (044) 490 70 01, pr@astapovlawyers.com

 



 

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