Belarus scraps licensing requirement for imports of certain goods from CIS countries

The Council of Ministers directed on Friday that a licensing requirement for importers of beer, cement, plate glass, empty bottles and pastas should not apply to those importing the goods from the CIS countries that signed the Commonwealth's free trade agreement in October 2011.

Dzmitry Mironchyk, spokesman for the Belarusian foreign ministry, said that the directive "dispels fellow CIS countries' fears over the access of their goods to the Belarusian market."

Earlier this year, the Council of Ministers made imports of the goods from countries outside the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia subject to licensing for a six-month period. To obtain a license, importers were required to sign agreements on the minimum prices of the goods with Belarusian authorities.

Responding to the measures, Ukraine imposed duties of up to 60.05 percent on Belarusian-imported milk, dairy products, confectionery, beer, incandescent light bulbs, fertilizers, refrigerators, and tires. The duties are to remain in place until December 31, 2016.

Mr. Mironchyk said that Minsk expected Ukraine to abolish the duties in return for its move to scrap the licensing requirement.

He warned that Belarus would respond if the duties were not abolished. // BelaPAN