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1 Oct 2019

Preliminary agreement on larger share of EAEU’s import customs duties for Belarus

Preliminary agreement on larger share of EAEU’s import customs duties for Belarus
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YEREVAN, 1 October (BelTA) – Countries of the Eurasian Economic Union have reached a preliminary agreement on raising the percentage of import customs duties for Belarus, BelTA learned from Belarusian Economy Minister Dmitry Krutoi on the sidelines of the session of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Yerevan on 1 October.

The official said: “As a result of today’s discussions a preliminary agreement has been reached that our percentage will be raised by 0.3% to 4.86%. In money terms the Belarusian budget will get extra $40-50 million. We believe it is certainly a victory.”

Belarus’ percentage will be raised at the expense of Kazakhstan’s or Russia’s. This is why the two countries will have to come to terms on how they will adjust their percentages first and only after that the final decision on Belarus’ percentage will be made.

According to the economy minister, during the summit the heads of state also agreed that these percentages will not be revised in the near future or at least as long as there are no new members in the Eurasian Economic Union.

Work to revise the percentages has been in progress since 2017, with every country lobbying for the most profitable option for itself. These matters have been repeatedly discussed by the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council but so far the countries have only been able to reconcile approaches to determining the methods of calculating the distribution rates.

“The period for calculating the new percentages was the stumbling block. Several options were under consideration. Some suggested recalculating the percentages since the foundation of the Customs Union in 2010. Some insisted that the calculations should use foreign trade statistics recorded since the Eurasian Economic Union came to be. After lengthy debates and discussions it was decided that Belarus’ percentage needs to be raised,” Dmitry Krutoi said.

In line with the current standards Armenia gets 1.22% of the sum of the import customs duties, Belarus gets 4.56%, Kazakhstan – 7.055%, Kyrgyzstan – 1.9%, and Russia – 85.265%.

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