The committee for balances of payments at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) ruled on September 21 that Slovakia had been justified in increasing its import surcharge from zero to 7% as of June 1. The committee recognised that the import surcharge was part of a package of measures designed to stabilise Slovakia's macroeconomic situation, and called the surcharge a painful but necessary step.
The surcharge should remain at 7% until December 31, 1999, when it will be lowered to 5%. From July 1, 2000 it will drop to 3%, and will be eliminated on January 1, 2001. The import surcharge first applied to approximately 80% of Slovakia's imports, but exemptions later lowered this figure to 70%.