Russia failed to observe a number of WTO rules when it introduced the duties in 2013, the WTO said. The Department for Internal Market Defense (DIMD) of the Eurasian Economic Commission's analysis of damage caused to the Russian domestic industry by the imports was based on unrealistic figures, the WTO said, and disregarded overcapacity in the Russian market.
The WTO investigated the duties at the instigation of the European Union. It did not accept all of the EU's arguments, including that Russia had miscalculated by mixing up data given in both dollars and roubles.
Both parties have 60 days to appeal the decision. Russian news agency TASS has reported that Russia will appeal.
"This is just one example of multiple measures taken by Russia in the recent years against EU exports. The panel's findings remind Russia that its international obligations cannot be ignored," the European Commission said.
"I am glad to see a very clear ruling by the WTO against one of the unfair, protectionist and anti-competitive measures that we see today in Russia," said European trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström.
"The duties on light commercial vehicles are not in line with commitments by Russia at the time it joined the WTO. Those measures now have to be removed. I hope to see Russia honouring its international obligations and respecting this ruling without delay," she said.
The duties apply on imports to Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia and cover LCVs between 2.8 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes in weight, with van-type bodies and diesel engines with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 3.000 cm3, designed for the transport of cargo of up to two tonnes or for the combined transport of cargo and passengers, the European Commission said.