Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus: what's what



Customs union — an agreement between several countries to abolish customs duties in mutual trade, the creation of a free trade area and the introduction of a common external tariff in trade with. any third party.

Customs Union, founded in 1957 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Germany, has become one of the most important steps to creating a European Union.

How to create a new alliance?

Russia and its partners shared the creation of an alliance on two stages. Since January 1, 2010 All three countries have eliminated most of the customs duties in mutual trade and undertook to harmonize customs rules. On July 1, they have to approve the joint external tariff, finalize rules and start to distribute among themselves levied customs duties.

Being traded to the members of the Union?

Belarus imports of Russian oil, gas, metals, machinery products and sells Russian trucks, auto parts, tires, meat and dairy products.

Kazakhstan Russia sells minerals, ore, metal products and chemical products, and import from there other minerals, chemicals, metals and engineering products.

WHO WHAT won and lost?

Member countries open up their markets to each other, creating more competition for local producers. Countries with low customs duties, as Kazakhstan should raise them, which increases the price of goods imported from outside the Customs Union. With On the other hand, competitive producers in each country gain access to new markets.

WHO issues remain unresolved?

Russia has refused to abolish export duties on crude oil it sells to Belarus hoped for in Minsk, considering such an important cause of the abolition of Belarus' accession to the Union. Instead, Minsk, Moscow offered limited duty-free.

All three countries have not yet decided how to share the collected customs fees. Russia at the beginning of the claimed 90% of the money received, but Kazakhstan and Belarus are fighting for a greater share for themselves.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR UNION external trading partners?

On the basis of the contract is traditionally low customs fees Kazakhstan, the most economically developed country in Central Asia, in fact vznimayutstsa to the Russian level, which creates a "tariff wall" around the markets of the three countries. This reduces the competitiveness of goods from third countries and forces businesses and consumers to buy goods produced within the union. Participation in the union may also delay the appointment of union members in the World Trade Organization (WTO).


Officials in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan said they would consider joining the union. However, both countries are members of the WTO, whose rules make it almost impossible for accession.


Russia stands for further integration, which would have included the creation of a common market with free movement of labor and capital between the three countries and the introduction of a common currency. However, the relevant regulations have not been adopted.

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