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Lukashenko: Belarus against extension of import duties in EAEU

MINSK (BelTA) - Belarus will no longer support the proposal to extend the current mechanism for distribution of import customs duties in the Eurasian Economic Union, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said at a meeting with the heads of government of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) member states on 27 November, BelTA has learned.

“The issue related to the distribution of import customs duties remains on the agenda. This topic was discussed in detail at the Supreme Council in Sochi on 14 May. The heads of state agreed that the finance ministers will be working on the method of distributing duties until December 2018 and report on the results. The proposal to re-extend the existing mechanism is absolutely unprofitable for Belarus. We have repeatedly said this. Of course, as my government informs me, we cannot support it,” said Alexander Lukashenko.

Otherwise, according to the head of state, Belarus will be placed into unequal conditions. He suggested taking efforts to reach a fair solution. “The matter should become less political and more economic,” the president said.

As TASS reported earlier, the protocol to amend the agreement on the accession of Kyrgyzstan to the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union, signed in Moscow on 11 April 2017, specifies the mechanism for distribution of import customs duties for each member state of the union. They have been set in the following amounts: 1.22% for Armenia, 4.56% for Belarus, 7.055% for Kazakhstan, 1.9% for Kyrgyzstan, and 85.265% for Russia.

Another protocol, signed in Sochi on 14 May 2018, extended the period of the application of the existing mechanism for distribution of import customs duties through 31 December 2019.

With Kyrgyzstan acceding the EAEU, the mechanism for distribution of import customs duties was established temporarily, until August 2018, due to the lack of necessary statistical information on Kyrgyzstan. However, the authorized bodies of the countries failed to reach an agreement on the mechanism again due to the absence of the statistics on Kyrgyzstan. Therefore, the leaders of the countries agreed to extend the established rates through 31 December 2019.