07-08-2012 10:42 Belarus
Belarus to keep high import duties on vehicles until WTO entry
As a full-fledged WTO member, Russia is reducing customs duties on imported vehicles on August 23, 2012, while Belarus and Kazakhstan will keep their local customs duties on imported vehicles unchanged until the two states accede to the WTO, a source in the Belarusian government told Prime-TASS.
Russia’s accession to the WTO prompted a move to adjust the United Customs Tariff Regulations of the Customs Union of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan: the average weighted rate of the customs duty on almost all commodity groups shall reduce from 9.72% to 7.36%.
At the same time, Belarus and Kazakhstan had a few commodities (including vehicles) exempted from the United Customs Tariff Regulations. Customs duties on the exempted commodities will remain unchanged in Belarus and Kazakhstan until those states accede to the WTO, the official said.
Russia’s decision to allow Belarus and Kazakhstan to keep their customs duties on imported vehicles unchanged has been a compromise intended to create a favourable environment for the Russian automotive industry, the expert said. Furthermore, Russia went as far as to let Belarus and Kazakhstan decide for themselves on the proper timing of the vehicle utilization fee.
As previously reported, with Russia becoming a full-fledged WTO member, customs duties on new vehicles will be reduced from 25% to 15% within a seven-year period, for used vehicles the rates will slide down from 25% to 20%.