DEVELOPMENTS IN EASTERN EUROPE, THE CAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA
Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation
The agreement on the Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation was signed at the end of November 2009 and entered into force on 1 January 2010.
The Customs Union aims at removing customs and other administrative barriers in mutual trade. A joint customs tariff will enter into force on 1 July 2010, and the executive organ of the Union, the Customs Commission, is working to harmonize technical regulations. The objective is to implement a single set of mandatory requirements for products, as well as a common system for assessment of the conformity of products to these requirements. This will include the preparation of a common manufacturer’s self-declaration of conformity, common certificates of conformity as well as a single repository for common documents.
In a near future, products assessed in Belarus, Kazakhstan or the Russian Federation will be entitled to move freely in the territory of the Customs Union, with no further checks at the border. Twenty-one Working Groups are already at work developing the Common Mandatory Requirements, with reference to those contained in international standards and in the most important directives of the European Union. In July 2009, the parties to the Customs Union elaborated a package of transitional measures that will provide for mutual recognition of test results and product certificates. An information system is also being set up to facilitate information exchange on regulatory and phyto and phyto-sanitary measures among the members.