ANNOUNCED AS TEMPORARYNo
The Customs Union (hereinafter - CU) was established between Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia on the basis of the Eurasian economic community (EurAsEC) and is based ona system of treaties between or with participation ofCU members which have been concluded since mid 90-s.
In order to reach this aim the following major tasks were to be fulfilled:
nadoption of common external tariff and common system of non-tariff regulation of foreign trade;
nadoption of common rules of determination of country of origin, customs valuation, trade data methodology and customs rules and procedures;
nformation of executive bodies of customs union which will execute their powers as determined by the CU members.
The legal basis ofCU consists at present of more than 50 international agreements concluded by CU members.
Decisions with respect of activities within the CUare taken in accordance with CU agreements by the following CU bodies:
·the board of heads of states, which meets once a year;
·the board of heads of governments, which meets twice a year;
·the commission of customs union, which consists of the deputy heads of the governments and meets monthly.
The commission of the Customs Union was established by the heads of the states of CU-members in 2007, in order to ensure functioning and development of the customs union. The commission has to:
ntake regulatory decisions in areas assigned to it by the treaties (from 1 January 2010 - the Common external tariff and the Common system of non-tariff measures);
nensure execution of decisions taken by the boards of heads of states and heads of governments;
nsuperviseimplementation of commitments under international treaties within the CU;
ncooperate with the executive bodies of CU members within the scope of its (commission's) powers determined by member-countries;
nprovide support of thedispute settlement proceduresbetween CU members;
nprovide recommendations to the boards of heads of states and heads of governments on issues concerning functioning and development of the customs union.
The issues brought to the commission are to be resolved through voting procedure. The votes are distributed in the following way: Russia - 57%, Kazakhstan - 21.5, Belarus - 21.5. Depending on the nature of the issue the decision can be taken by 2/3 votes (qualified majority) or by consensus. If qualified majority or consensus (if required) is not established, the commission has the right to propose the issue to be dealt with by the board of heads of governments or heads of states.
The secretariat of the commission is in charge of organization of functioning of the commission and technical support. The Secretariat is headed by executive secretary and counts for around 70 persons of stuff.
The common external tariff is established by the decision of the commission. It is based on 2007 HS nomenclature and contains 11 147 tariff lines. The common external tariff includes 9 248 ad valorem, 157 combined and 1742 specific rates of duties.
The 0% rates are applied in the following HS groups:
n01 - live animals (lines 0101 10 100 0, 0102 10 100 0, 0105 1 110 0, 0105 19 900 0)
n08 -edible fruits and edible nuts; peel of citrus fruits or melons (lines 0802 11 100 0, 0802 22 000 0, 0809 30 100 0);
n26 - ores, slag and ash(lines 2614 00 900 0, 2615 90 100 0);
n84 -nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery and mechanical appliances thereof (lines 8407 90 500 0, 8411 82 200 1, 8412 90 400 3, 8413 70 210 0, 8415 20 000 1);
The highest rates are applied in the following groups:
n02 - meat and edible meat offal (lines 0201 10 000 9 - 50%, but not less than 0.2EURO per kg, 0203 19 110 9 - 75%, but not less than 1.5EURO per kg, 0207 14 700 9 - 80%, but not less than 0.7EURO per kg);
n21 - miscellaneous food products (line 2102 10 100 0 - 30%, but not less than 0.25EURO per kg);
n24 - tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes(line 2402 10 000 0 - 30%, but not less than 3 EURO per 1000 units) .
Russia has increased import tariffs on 14% of its import tariff lines: finished preserved meat products, meat, yeast, articles of apparel and clothing accessories
Russia has reduced import tariffs on 4% of its tariff lines: materials for photography, wool and fabrics, pharmaceutical products, footwear, electro-mechanical appliances.
About82% of tariff lines remained unchanged.
Belarus has increased import tariffs on about 7 % of its tariff lines: certain meat products, finished preserved meat products, certain positions for metals, motor cars.
Belarus has decreased import tariffs on approx. 18% of its tariff lines: articles of apparel, carpets, footwear of leather and textile, machinery and mechanical appliances, pharmaceutical substances
About 75% of the tariff lines were not changed.
The most significant import tariff changes happened in. Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan has increased import tariffs on about 10% of its tariff lines: group for means of transport (including vehicles), wood, refrigerating equipment, pharmaceutical preparations, electro-mechanical domestic appliances, footwear and the articles of apparel
Kazakhstan has decreased import tariffs on approx. 45% of its tariff lines: several agricultural products , hides and skins, optical medical or surgical instruments and appliances.
Only about 45 % of Kazakh import tariff lines were not changed.
The stages of the CU formation:
nby January 1, 2010 the common external tariff, common system of non-tariff measures are to be enforced;
nby July 1, 2010 the customs code of the customs union is to be enforced; customs clearance of goods circulating between the territories of CU members is to be abolished; all the tariff and non-tariff measures implemented between country - members are to be abolished;
nby July 1, 2011 all kinds of control are to be abolished on the borders between country - members.
The Customs Union has not only consolidated Russia's import tariff rates but has also extended the scope of the Russia's protectionism to the other two partners (Belarus and Kazakhstan). The Customs Union and its further implementation leaves many questions open as to the future functioning of the new trade regime, including the scope of export duties, technical regulations (TBT) and sanitary and phytosanitary requirements (SPS) and trade defence instruments.
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