Russia Set to Drastically Raise Import Duties on Moldovan Wines Due to “Unfriendly” Relations

The Ministry of Economic Development of Russia announced that import duties for wines from countries considered “unfriendly” will be drastically increased from 12.5% to 20%. This decision was taken as part of the measures to introduce “counter-sanctions” against the actions of Western states.

The ministry’s press service informed that this measure will affect products with a value of at least $1.5 per liter and will remain in effect until the end of 2023. Moldovan exporters delivering their production will also be affected by this measure.

The Ambassador of the Republic of Moldova to Moscow, Lilian Darii, sent a letter to the National Office of Vine and Wine notifying the institution about the tax increase, which also targets Moldovan exporters delivering wines to the Russian Federation.

The Ministry of Finance in Moscow justified this measure as a means to protect domestic wine producers in Russia. They have faced competition pressure from foreign wines, which could have led to a significant increase in prices for consumers. By increasing import duties, the Russian authorities hope to support the domestic wine industry and ensure greater competitiveness in the domestic market.

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However, alcohol importers have warned that they will have to increase prices for their products in response to the higher taxes imposed by Russian authorities. This measure may impact consumers and lead to increased costs for imported wines.

Moreover, experts have noted that the introduction of high import taxes may negatively affect the quality of Russian wines, as reduced market competition could lessen the pressure on domestic producers to improve and innovate.

Russia’s decision comes amid political and economic tensions with Western countries, and the wine industry in the countries affected by the import tax increase may suffer.

The latest data from the National Bank shows that in the first quarter of 2023, Russia ranked only eighth in the ranking of wine markets, with a market share of 3.4%, practically at the same level as Serbia and the United States. The total value of wines exported to the Russian Federation amounted to $1.83 million.

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