MINSK, 19 April (BelTA) – The House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus ratified the agreement on free trade zone in the CIS on 19 April, BelTA has learnt.
According to First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Petrishenko, the document will promote the unified legal framework meeting the present-day requirements and international practices for a full-scale liberalization of trade in the CIS. “The agreement will allow for deeper economic integration within the Commonwealth,” the official said.
The document provides for basic norms and regulations of the World Trade Organization. It abolishes import/export duties and quota restrictions in mutual trade. The document enjoins its parties upon nondiscriminatory application of nontariff regulations, the provision of the national regime and fair subsidizing rules.
The agreement of free trade zone equates the rights of its parties under state purchase contracts and provides for the freedom of transit and special safeguard measures in mutual trade.
According to Vitaly Busko, chairman of the permanent commission for international affairs and relations with the CIS, the law was adopted in 1994 when the Commonwealth of Independent States was established. In 1999 the document was complemented but failed to take its full force because several participating states did not conducted necessary domestic procedures for its ratification. Some CIS member states preferred to cooperate under bilateral agreements.
Russia has almost completed its procedures to join the WTO. “Kazakhstan is making its way towards the accession and so are we. Therefore, we needed a unified agreement on trade to go in compliance with the WTO rules,” the MP said.
Hard work resulted in such an agreement that was signed by eight CIS member states in October 2011, launching domestic procedures for its ratification.