Lithuanian talks with Ukraine

3 February 2003

Lithuanian and Ukrainian officials were scheduled to hold talks in Kiev at the end of January regarding Ukraine's concern that duty-free Ukrainian raw leather exports to Lithuania are being re-exported at substantially higher value, according to the LETA news agency. Lithuania says it wants to resolve the problem and supports the signing of an additional protocol to the bilateral free trade agreement between the two counties. Ukraine estimates that it is losing US$6 million a year due to the Lithuanian re-export of its leather. It was later reported that Ukraine had fixed an annual duty-free export quota of 2,500 tonnes of raw hides to Lithuania, compared with the around 7,000 tonnes of hides exported duty-free by Ukraine to Lithuania in 2002. It is understood that the figure of 2,500 tonnes has been set based on the annual average consumption by Lithuanian leather processors of Ukrainian hides over the past three years. Lithuanian leather processors consume approximately 8,000 tonnes of raw hides each year.

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