Prakapovich slams market traders for protesting requirement to comply with Customs Union certification rules for imported light industry goods


It is compulsory for each retailer to comply with the certification rules of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia for imported light industry goods, Deputy Prime Minister Pyotr Prakapovich said Friday, speaking at a meeting of the Council for Enterprise Development in Dzyarzhynsk, Minsk region.

“Market traders raise the issue of these certification rules, claiming that they cannot operate under these conditions, but how can one sell goods without common documents that concern the life and health of the individual?” Mr. Prakapovich said. “If they say they cannot operate under the new requirements, they should sell Belarusian-made socks and stockings.”

The government has made significant concessions to create comfortable conditions for market traders to adapt to the new rules, Mr. Prakapovich said. In addition, Belarus currently tends to prioritize the development of large retail chains, not marketplace trade, he noted. “The current situation differs from that of the early 1990s,” he said. “Large retail centers have been established in our country. Our total retail area per capita will be similar to that in Europe in the next five-year period. The era when people go to a marketplace to buy consumables will eventually end.”

Mr. Prakapovich suggested that small business owners with sole entrepreneur status should consider making a switch from retail to manufacture or services.

“Any bloc implies a loss of part of independence and compliance with common rules,” Mr. Prakapovich said. “It is beneficial to everyone that there are uniform rules for both Belarus and Russia and Kazakhstan.”

Approved by the Commission of the Customs Union, the certification rules prohibit sales of garments and footwear without a special label confirming their compliance with the Customs Union`s safety standards. The rules require traders to submit samples of their goods to laboratories for testing and pay the certification costs.
Market traders staged a series of protests throughout Belarus in July, condemning the rules as unfair and threatening to shut up shop and stop paying taxes if their demands were ignored. //BelaPAN