Foreign Trade Developments in Europe

Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) Business Forum in Armenia May 31-June 3, 2019
The fifth EAEU: Armenia – Cooperation Business Forum was held in Tsaghkadzor. Its purpose was to promote cooperation and dialogue between EAEU companies and trade and economics ministries and agencies.
For more information, see “The 5th EEU: Armenia – Cooperation Business Forum Being Held in Tsakhkadzor,” June 1, 2019, https://news.am/eng/news/515971.html.

Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) and Bangladesh signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) in late May
The MOU provides for the creation of committees that will seek to determine ways to facilitate greater Bangladesh access to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) market and economic cooperation between the EAEU and Bangladesh.
For more information, see “Deal Signed for Export Privileges to Eurasia,” June 4, 2019, https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/deal-signed-export-privileges-eurasia-1753228.

Caucasus

Armenian government decided to impose customs duties on scrap metal exports
On May 2, the government of Armenia announced the decision to amend the Law “On State Duty” in order to impose customs duties of 80,000 drams on exports of ferrous scrap metal. The Ministry of Economic Development and Investments cited insufficient availability of materials for domestic producers as the reason for the amendment.
For more information, see “Armenia to Impose Customs Duty on Export of Scrap Metal,” May 2, 2019, http://arka.am/en/news/business/armenia_to_impose_customs_duty_on_export_of_scrap_metal/.

Armenian State Revenue Committee (SRC) prevented entry of Turkish buses at Bagratashen in May
The SRC prohibited the buses’ entry because of concerns about the use of the buses to import commercial goods under the guise of passengers’ belongings. The SRC reported on May 10 that the issue had been resolved in cooperation with the Turks.
For more information, see “Armenian State Revenue Committee Clarifies Reason for Ban on Turkish Buses’ Entry,” May 10, 2019, https://news.am/eng/news/511952.html.

Armenian Food Safety Inspectorate banned poultry imports from Russian provinces of Stavropol and Krasnodar in May
The ban was in response to concerns about an outbreak of Newcastle Disease in the provinces. The ban went into effect on May 17, 2019. It applies to live poultry, poultry products, feathers, down, eggs, meat and bone meal, feed, feed additives for pigs and polymer and cardboard boxes and cardboard gaskets for packaging.
For more information, see “Armenia’s Food Safety Inspectorate Bans Import of Poultry Meat from Southern Russian Provinces of Stavropol and Krasnodar,” May 15, 2019, https://arka.am/en/news/business/armenia_s_food_safety_inspectorate_bans_import_of_poultry_meat_from_southern_russian_provinces_of_st/.

Armenian parliament approved duty on imports of Iran cement in June
The Armenian parliament amended the Law “On State Duty” on June 3, 2019, to approve the imposition of a 14,000 dram per ton duty on imports of cement from Iran. The reason reportedly is to bolster local cement production.
For more information, see “Armenia Places Import Duty on Iranian Cement,” June 3, 2019, https://www.cemnet.com/News/story/166693/armenia-places-import-duty-on-iranian-cement.html.

Azerbaijan plans to open trading house in Kazakhstan capital
The Azerbaijan Minister of Economy made the announcement in May. The trading house is slated to open in Nur-Sultan in September 2019. The purpose of Azerbaijan’s trading houses is to encourage exports of Azerbaijan goods.
For more information, see “Azerbaijan to Open Trading House in Nur-Sultan,” May 8, 2019, https://menafn.com/1098494748/Azerbaijan-to-open-trading-house-in-NurSultan.

Azerbaijan and Iran cooperate in efforts to implement e-TIR project
Iranian Customs officials announced in May that the Azerbaijan and Iran governments signed a protocol in February 2019 to provide for the creation of an e-TIR transit project. TIR refers to the Convention on International Transport of Goods Under Cover of TIR Carnet. e-TIR projects enable customs services and other actors involved in international transit to exchange relevant information on goods, containers, and transports with each other electronically in a secure manner. Iranian Customs indicated that the pilot project would begin in the near future. Reportedly five Azerbaijan customs offices and six Iranian customs offices will participate in the project.
For more information, see “Iran, Azerbaijan to Launch e-TIR Project,” May 17, 2019, https://en.mehrnews.com/news/145352/Iran-Azerbaijan-to-launch-e-TIR-project, and “Iran, Azerbaijan to Launch First Phase of e-TIR Project in Mid-May,” May 17, 2019, https://www.azernews.az/business/150787.html.

Azerbaijan Cabinet of Ministers amended regulation governing entry into force of foreign trade agreements
The Cabinet of Ministers made the change on May 21, 2019. An intergovernmental agreement on foreign trade will enter into force “at least 30 days after publication” if it does not specify a longer period. In “exceptional cases,” an agreement may enter into force within a period of time shorter than 30 days.
For more information, see “Azerbaijan Changes Regulations for Foreign Trade Activities,” May 21, 2019, https://www.azernews.az/business/151026.html.

Azerbaijan Ministry of Taxes developing list of goods that will require labeling
The ministry submitted an initial list, including selected excise goods, to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval. On June 4, the Deputy Minister of Taxes stated that the list is to be approved by late 2019. The purpose of the list is to enable Customs to track the movement of imported goods.
For more information, see “Initial List of Goods Subject to Labeling Disclosed in Azerbaijan,” June 4, 2019, https://www.azernews.az/business/151733.html.

Azerbaijan government has plans to establish logistics centers and new free economic zone
The Secretary of the Azerbaijani Coordinating Council on Transit Freight stated in June that the Azerbaijan government has plans to establish logistics centers in Ganja (in western Azerbaijan) and at the Red Bridge border crossing point with the Republic of Georgia. It plans to create the free economic zone in Alat, near Baku, and to include the Baku International Sea Trade Port within the zone.
For more information, see “New Logistics Centers to Be Created in Azerbaijan,” June 11, 2019, https://menafn.com/1098630813/New-logistics-centers-to-be-created-in-Azerbaijan.

Eastern Europe

Belarus and Moldova agreed in May to eliminate trucking permits
The governments signed a protocol amending the Agreement on International Transportation by Road of 9 April 1994 to allow international transportation by road of all passengers and cargo without the need for a trucking permit.
For more information, see “Belarus, Moldova Get Rid of Trucking Permits,” May 15, 2019, https://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarus-moldova-get-rid-of-trucking-permits-121024-2019/.

Belarus suspended transit of Russian oil bound for Ukraine
The suspension occurred in mid-May. The Belarusian State Concern for Oil and Chemistry (Belneftekhim) reported that the reason was due to the absence of “reservoirs on the Ukrainian territory for pumping of ‘dirty’ oil in the pipeline.”
For more information, see “Belarus Suspends Oil Transit through Ukraine,” May 17, 2019, https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/belarus-suspends-oil-transit-through-ukraine-39813.html.

Belarus removed limits on oil exports
The Belarus government lifted the limits on exports of Belarusian oil products on May 21, 2019, following the contamination of Russian oil in the Druzhba pipeline.
For more information, see “Belarus Lifts Limits on Exports of Oil Products: Belta Agency,” May 21, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-oil-belarus-exports/belarus-lifts-limits-on-exports-of-oil-products-belta-agency-idUSKCN1SR23S.

Belarus government increased export duties on oil products on June 1
The duties applied to oil and oil products exported outside the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Duties on crude oil increased from US$104.60 to US$110.40 per ton. Duties on straight-run gasoline increased from US$57.50 to US$60.70 per ton. Duties on commercial gasoline, light and medium distillates, diesel fuel, benzene, toluene, xylene, lubricants, and other oil increased from US$31.30 to US$33.10 per ton.
For more information, see “Belarus Raises Export Duties on Oil,” May 31, 2019, http://www.china.org.cn/world/Off_the_Wire/2019-05/31/content_74840284.htm, and “Belarus to Raise Oil Export Duties on 1 June,” May 31, 2019, https://eng.belta.by/economics/view/belarus-to-raise-oil-export-duties-on-1-june-121465-2019/.

Russia relaxed arms resale rules in May 2019
The Russian government adopted Resolution No. 586 of 10 May 2019 “On Amendments to the List of Documents Submitted by Subjects of Military-Technical Cooperation to Federal Executive Authorities in Approval of Draft Decisions of the President of the Russian Federation, the Government of the Russian Federation and / or the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation on the Supply of Military Products.” It amended export control rules governing resales of previously licensed Russian arms exports. Prior to the amendment, Russian export control rules required a secondary arms buyer to inform the Russian government in writing that it would be the final end-user of the item. Under the amended rules, the original buyer/end-user now can inform the Russian government that the secondary buyer/end-user will not resell the weapons to a tertiary buyer/end-user. The amendment came in response to arms buyers’ concerns about being targeted by U.S. sanctions for buying Russian munitions. The text of the resolution is available at http://docs.cntd.ru/document/554558085.
For more information, see “Russia Eases Arms Resale Rules to Avoid Sanctions – Reports,” May 15, 2019, https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/05/15/russia-eases-arms-resale-rules-to-avoid-sanctions-reports-a65585.

Rosselkhoznadzor removed prohibition on imports of stone fruit from Serbia and North Macedonia
The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) lifted the prohibition on May 27, 2019. The ban had been in place since August 2018, when Rosselkhoznadzor reported that it had discovered Monilinia fructicola fungus in Serbian peaches and apricots and fruit from North Macedonia.
For more information, see “Russia Lifts Import Ban on Stone Fruit from Serbia, North Macedonia,” May 27, 2019, https://www.reuters.com/article/russia-northmacedonia-fruit/russia-lifts-import-ban-on-stone-fruit-from-serbia-north-macedonia-idUSL8N23315Z.

Ukraine removed Moldovan steel company from national sanctions list in May
Ukraine removed the Moldovan Metallurgical Plant, located in Rîbnița in Transnistria, from the national sanctions list on May 7, 2019. While on the list, the company was unable to receive exports of Ukrainian scrap iron.
For more information, see “Ukraine Lifts Trade Restrictions for Moldovan Steel Company in Transnistria,” May 7, 2019, https://www.intellinews.com/ukraine-lifts-trade-restrictions-for-moldovan-steel-company-in-transnistria-160739/?source=moldova.

Ukrainian government prohibited imports of Russian cement, plywood, and related items in May
On May 15, 2019, the Ukrainian government added Portland, alumina, blast furnace, sulfate resistant, and similar types of neat cement, dyed and non-dyed, ready-to-use or clinker, plywood, veneered boards, and similar materials to the list of Russian commodities that are prohibited from importation to Ukraine.
For more information, see “Ukraine Bans Imports of Russian Cement, Plywood,” May 16, 2019, https://open4business.com.ua/ukraine-bans-imports-of-russian-cement-plywood/.

Ukrainian government imposed anti-dumping duties on imports of cement from Belarus, Moldova, and Russia in May
The anti-dumping duties apply to imports of Portland cement and cement clinkers from the three countries. The duties are 57.03% for items from Belarus, 94.46% for cement from Moldova, and 114.95% for commodities from Russia. The duties reportedly will be in place for five years.
For more information, see “Ukraine Imposes Anti-Damping Duties for Cement’s Import from Russia, Belarus, Moldova,” May 21, 2019, https://112.international/ukraine-top-news/ukraine-imposes-anti-damping-duties-for-cements-import-from-russia-belarus-moldova-39933.html.

Ukraine and Georgia modified free trade agreement (FTA)
The governments amended their 1996 FTA on May 21, 2019, to enable them to use identical rules of origin in bilateral trade and to apply the Regional Convention on Pan-Euro-Mediterranean Preferential Rules of Origin.
For more information, see “Ukraine Amends Free Trade Agreement with Georgia,” May 21, 2019, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-economy/2704986-ukraine-amends-free-trade-agreement-with-georgia.html.

Ukraine government approves veterinary certificates for exportation of livestock products to Qatar
In June 2019, the State Service of Ukraine for Food Safety and Consumer Protection (SSUFSCP) approved the veterinary certificate forms for the export of meat, meat products, milk and dairy products, shell eggs, egg products, fish and fish products, and processed food to Qatar.
For more information, see “Ukraine Agrees with Qatar on Veterinary Certificates for Exporting Livestock Products,” June 10, 2019, https://open4business.com.ua/ukraine-agrees-with-qatar-on-veterinary-certificates-for-exporting-livestock-products/.