EEC says it will reduce import duties to fight coronavirus

Imports and Exports | | MIC Customs Solutions |

The Eurasian Economic Commission wants to show its contribution to the battle against coronavirus by slashing import tariffs.

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) has said it will lower import duties on a range of products necessary in the global battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for trade of the organisation Andrei Slepnev told a press conference in Moscow the reduction will apply to foodstuffs, baby food, children's goods, some medical products, medicines and components for medical production.

"The EEC decided that within a week it will work out the final list for goods, the tariffs on which will be temporarily zeroed out, duties reduced. We will finalise the lists during a week; the decision will be made in the coming days," he commented.

Mr Slepnev added that applying zero customs duties to improve the availability of products for the healthcare services is a display of "Eurasian solidarity" in the fight to beat COVID-19.

However, he warned that any goods currently in shortage within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), including disposable gloves and disinfectants, will be temporarily banned for export outside these nations.

This news comes as some central Asian nations begin to report growing cases of coronavirus. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have already implemented emergency measures to combat it, including the closure of national borders.

The EEC is the permanent regulatory body of the EAEU and began work in February 2012. One of the key factors in its establishment was the fact that the member nations would be able to reduce the negative impacts of global instability.

Currently, there are five EEC countries located in central and northern Asia and Eastern Europe: The Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation.

The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed between them in May 2014 and came into force in January 2015.