Specific Tariffs, Tariff Simplification, and the Structure of Import Tariffs in Russia, 2001-2005
The Russian tariff structure contains over 11,000 tariff lines. Of these, a specific tariff may apply for about 1,700. Due to a new data set, this is the first paper to accurately assess tariff rates. We find that the average tariff in Russia has increased between 2001 and 2003, from about 11.5 percent to between 13 percent and 14.5 percent, but held steady in 2004 and 2005. This places Russia's tariffs at a level slightly higher than other middleincome countries and considerably higher than Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries. Russia implemented tariff simplification in 2000-2001. Contrary to conventional wisdom on the effect of tariff simplification, the trade-weighted standard deviation of the Russian tariff increased, approximately doubling from 9.5 percent in 2001 to 18 percent in 2003, but it then fell to 15.2 percent by 2005. We show that ignoring the specific tariffs results in an underestimate of average tariff rates by about one to three percentage points and an even larger underestimate of the standard deviation.