Kazakh Senate Ratifies Free Trade Agreement between EAEU and Vietnam

ASTANA – Members of the Kazakh Senate have adopted a law “On ratification of the free trade agreement between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and its member states on the one hand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the other hand,” reported Kazpravda.kz on Feb. 11.

“The free trade agreement with Vietnam covers areas of trade and economic cooperation, such as trade protection measures, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers in trade, intellectual property rights, competition, rules of origin, customs cooperation, sustainable development, e-commerce and others,” said Vice Minister of National Economy Marat Kussainov at the presentation of the bill.

The document provides the establishment of a duty-free trade regime on major goods between the signatory countries. On the rest of the goods, a transition period has been defined, which means the abolition of import duties after a certain time, or a tax will be set in accordance with the import tariffs of the parties. This applies to import sensitive products.

“In addition, in order to protect the domestic market, the agreement provides the right for the application of special protective, antidumping and countervailing measures in accordance with [World Trade Organisation] rules. Bilateral safety measures may be applied as additional protection in the case of a threat to the [Eurasian Economic Union] (EAEU) market due to the implementation of the agreement during the transition period. It also provides the use of a trigger protective mechanism in the form of a customs duty at the level of the single customs tariff of EAEU, which will protect sensitive EAEU textiles and furniture if there will be excess of the threshold of annual volumes of imports from Vietnam,” said Kussainov.

At the same time, the agreement does not provide the abolition of export duties; they will be charged at the most favoured nation (MFN) rates, which are used when exporting to third-world countries.

The agreement sets out the obligations of the parties for the protection of rights to intellectual property, establishes unified principles for the protection of competition and lays the foundations for close cooperation between the customs services and public authorities of the participating countries, which are responsible for the technical, sanitary and phytosanitary regulation.

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