Ukraine, Belarus return to free trade zone on Aug 19
On August 19 Ukraine cancels special duties for importing certain groups of Belarusian goods and Belarus revokes licensing imports of some Ukrainian products, Belarusian Ambassador to Kyiv Valentin Velichko said at a news conference in Kyiv on Monday.
In April-May 2014 Belarus introduced licensing imports of some goods, in particular beer, pasta, confectionary, cement, and glass, in order to bring order to certain segments of domestic market, the ambassador said.
"Adequately to this, Ukraine introduced customs duties of over 55% for our sensitive goods, such as fridges, tires, fertilizers, dairy, which has become a no-go," Velichko said.
"A number of consultations have been held. As of now, all these aspects have been cancelled at the level of the cabinet of ministers and at the level of the Belarusian government. And from tomorrow, in other words from August 19, all customs have guides and circular notes that everything comes back to the free trade zone," Velichko said.
According to the statement released by the Belarusian embassy to reporters, on July 24 the Belarusian Council of Ministers passed a resolution, which created conditions for simultaneous elimination of mutual barriers in the bilateral trade.
The demands for licensing beer, confectionary, pasta, cement and glass do not apply to exports to Belarus and states participating in the CIS free trade agreement of October 18, 2011, if they do not apply restrictions measures regarding Belarusian goods not stipulated in the agreement, the document said.
"Thus, Belarus has outlined clearly that as soon as Ukrainian sanctions cease to be effective, then licensing of import to Belarus will not be applied regarding Ukrainian enterprises," the statement said.
According to the document released by the embassy, "Belarus has informed officially via diplomatic channels the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Economic Development that from August 19 licensing will not be applied regarding Ukrainian enterprises supplying to the Belarusian market pasta, confectionary, beer, cement and glassware."