Accession of Russia to the WTO
Russia joined the World Trade Organization (WTO) on 22 August after 18 years of negotiations. The accession means better market access for goods and services. Import duties for goods will decrease from a current average of 10% to an average of 7.8%. In some important sectors, such as automotive, the import duty reductions are more significant (decreasing from currently 30% to 25% upon accession and to 15% after 7 years). It is estimated that the overall tariff reduction will result in savings of €2.5 billion annually in import duties for EU exporters. Furthermore the reduced tariffs are estimated to stimulate €3.9 billion of additional EU exports to Russia per year.
The EU is Russia’s first trading partner and Russia is the EU’s third trading partner. Bilateral trade in goods totaled €308 billion in 2011.
FloraHolland figures August influenced by heath
August was hot this year in Europe, which was not good for the demand of flowers and plants. At the Dutch auction FloraHolland, the average price of cut flowers remained the same as last year, while the prices of pot plants averaged 5 cent lower.
The FloraHolland figures of August showed a 4% lower supply of cut flowers, while the average price remained at €0.191. This is exactly the same average price as in August last year. The results of chrysanthemums were good. The average price of disbudded sorts was 14 cent higher than last year and went up to 37.8 cent per stem. The supply of roses went down by 9.6%. The average price went up by 1.5 cent.
The supply of pot plants in August increased by 0.5% and the average price went down by almost 5 cent, compared to August last year. The average price of phalaenopsis was 48 cent lower than last year when the sales during the summer went much better than this year. The supply this year was 18% more.
Higher VAT rates in the Netherlands to 21%
From now on, the presentation abbreviation (clock name) ‘H%’ will be displayed if the product falls into the higher rate of VAT.
– The ‘H’ stands for hoog in Dutch and for hoch/high/haut in German, English and French respectively.
– The ‘%’ denotes the VAT percentage.
All codes which currently display the VAT percentage ‘6%’ in the name will no longer display the percentage sign. These changes will be implemented on 20 September.
The lower VAT rate applies to all codes, unless the ‘H%’ is included in the name. In those instances, the higher VAT rate applies.
The computers of the Dutch auctions have a separate calculation table ‘behind’ the product codes. Codes with an ‘H% ‘ in the name will be calculated at 21% as of 1 October. A rate of 6% will be applied to product codes that do not have the addition ‘H%’ in the name.
In time, the VAT indicator will disappear completely from the names (within the Linnaeus framework). The indicator will then be placed in a separate grading characteristic. Until that time, however, we will continue working with the ‘H%’ for product names attracting a higher rate of VAT.
Satisfactory results at Expo Flora Russia
The second edition of Expo Flora Russia closed its doors last Friday concluding satisfactory results for most national and international participants. Especially the exhibiting flower growers were satisfied with the number of existing and new business contacts they made during the three day event, but also the other exhibitors expressed to be happy with the results.
All important importers from the Moscow region came to see what was on display, but also importers from other cities, states and countries were visiting during one or more of the exhibition days. Furthermore importers and wholesalers from other states and countries, such as Siberia and Ukraine, were present.
The following growers and breeders were among the winners of the different quality awards: In the Best Grower Quality Competition Bronze was awarded to Podosinki from Russia with the variety “Miss Piggy”, Silver to Nevado Ecuador from Ecuador with “Moody Blues”, Gold to Rosaprima from Ecuador with “Deep Purple” and Platinum to Jaroma Roses from Colombia with “Mondial”.
In the Best Breeders Quality Competition Bronze was awarded to NIRP from Italy from with the variety “Blueberry”, Silver for Interplant Roses from Holland with “Explorer”, Gold for Meilland International from France with “Matilda” and Platinum was for Olij Breeding from Holland with “Deep Purple”.