Domestic customs rates should be applied to goods moving within Customs Union, Sidorski says


Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia should apply domestic customs rates to goods moving within their Customs Union, Syarhey Sidorski, a former Belarusian prime minister who is the Eurasian Economic Commission's board member, said during a business forum Friday in Minsk.

Russia and Kazakhstan apply domestic customs rates only to shipments that are imported through their seaports, Mr. Sidorski said. In the 19 months left until the Eurasian Economic Union comes into existence, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia should eliminate the barriers to free trade, he said. This will not be easy because the national interests of the countries are at stake, he said.

The three countries have recently signed 17 agreements that form the legal basis for their cooperation within the future Eurasian Economic Union, Mr. Sidorski noted.

He said that the Eurasian Economic Commission had drafted an agreement on the concept of a coordinated industrial policy, and that a concept of a joint agricultural policy had already been signed.

“The turnover of farm produce in the three states totals $128 billion at present,” Mr. Sidorski said. “We consume only $7 billion worth of produce domestically and import $44 billion. The implementation of the concept may increase agricultural GDP by between 20 and 30 percent in the Customs Union countries. The prospects are very good.” //BelaPAN