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22.08.2012

Russia joins the WTO

After more than 18 years of negotiations, Russia joins the World Trade Organization (WTO) with effect of August 22, 2012 as the 156th member. The main purpose of the WTO is free international trade.

Companies exporting to Russia will benefit from the accession because Russian customs duty for industrial goods will decrease by approximately one third. Up to now, most of the foreign goods have been offered with an average of 30 % extra charge with respect to the original price because of the high customs duty.

Innovative foreign but also Russian drug manufacturers will particularly benefit from the Russia’s accession to the WTO, inter alia because the protection of data from clinical experimental series has been adapted to the WTO rules. Manufacturers of generic drugs are not allowed to use the original manufacturer’s market admission documents without his consent in order to get the admission to the market for their generic drugs without time delay and extensive tests. It is common practice in the drug sector to exploit the maximum patent duration of 20 years and to extend the effective protection duration of a patent by at most 5 additional years with a supplementary protection certificate which is also possible in Russia. Having this in mind, the innovative drug manufacturers will also notably benefit from the expected 2-fold reduction of the official fees for the respective intellectual property rights.

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