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102 foreign trade restrictions in effect against Customs Union goods

August 23, 2013, 14:20 UTC+3

ECE Minister outlined restrictive measures against goods produced by Customs Union members

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Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Metzel

Photo ITAR-TASS/ Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, August 23 (Itar-Tass) - There are currently 102 foreign trade restrictions in effect against goods from the Customs Union, Trade Minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE) Andrei Slepnyov told Itar-Tass.

The United States and European Union are the most avid users of such policities, mainly because these tools are well developed in these countries, he said. Thus, countries of the West account for about 67% of the total number of such restrictive measures (68). The largest number of them is applied by the EU (18 measures) and the United States (19 measures), they account for 54% of the total number of restrictions applied by Western countries.

Countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) account for 33% of the total number of restrictive measures. Most of the barriers are put up by Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

According to Slepnyov, Uzbekistan applies discriminatory excise taxes, “which are actually customs duties, despite the free trade regime, to more than 400 commodity items.” These include wheat flour, confectionery, chocolate, dairy products, eggs, sausage products, canned meat and convenience meat products, vegetable oil, sugar, beer. In addition, they use a number of measures that impede trade, for example, limiting transit possibilities through the country, delaying currency conversion into freely convertible currency for a period of three months or more, issuing consumer loans for the purchase of only locally produced goods.

Over the past year Ukraine has also demonstrated intensified the protectionist trend in its policies, such as the introduction of protective measures against cars and the mechanism of setting coal supply quotas, “using a non-transparent procedure that in fact has many times cut the supply capacity to Ukraine,” the ECE minister said.

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