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Astana, Kazakhstan • 25 December 2023

Kazakhstan to Tighten Control Over EAEU Imports

Trade Minister says some goods from neighboring countries negatively impact the state of domestic production and consumer rights

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Unsplash/Elevate
Unsplash/Elevate

On December 25, during the government hour in the lower house of Parliament, Minister of Trade and Integration Arman Shakkaliyev discussed plans to tighten control over goods from EAEU member states, QazMonitor reports.

"Measures to protect the domestic market are of particular importance due to Kazakhstan's participation in the EAEU and the [subsequent] absence of customs borders. The influx of low-quality imports has a negative impact on domestic production and consumer rights," said Shakkaliyev.

A situation headquarters, involving all relevant state bodies, has been established under the Ministry. The joint algorithm was used to sample imported dairy products, identifying violations. So far, the authorities have tightened laboratory control and imposed restrictions on imports for eight enterprises. Additionally, 67 documents on the conformity assessment of imported milk have been canceled.

The Trade Minister further noted several contributing factors to the influx of low-quality imports into domestic markets. These factors include incomplete laboratory infrastructure (as there are insufficient ways to test for antibiotics, pesticides, GMOs, and other contaminants within Kazakhstan), open borders, the competence of inspectors, and their material and technical equipment.

The provisions of the Entrepreneur Code are preventive in nature and may not be suitable for a prompt response to dangerous products and their removal from the market. Therefore, legislative amendments are necessary to establish a special control procedure - transitioning from the subject of control to the object, enabling swift responses and the withdrawal of hazardous goods without relying solely on preventive measures. This includes a revision of responsibilities regarding the release of dangerous goods.

Arman Shakkaliyev, Minister of Trade and Integration

Shakkaliyev added that next year, the government will analyze laboratory facilities in all sectors. The analysis will take into account regional specifics.

"Based on the results, ‘non-automated’ laboratories will be excluded, and the remaining ones in the market will be required to undergo modernization. Additionally, there are plans to introduce a ban on the use of 'gray certificates' obtained without testing in neighboring countries when importing products," said Shakkaliyev.

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