USRBC and AmCham in Russia Held a Special Event with Officials from EEC

The U.S.-Russia Business Council (USRBC), together with the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, held a special business event with officials from the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, in Moscow. Representatives of the private sector and relevant EEC officials participated in the event. The meeting was led by Mr. Viktor Khristenko, the Chairman of the EEC.

The discussion was focused on the topics of the EEU customs cooperation (major EEU customs rules, the intersection of the customs rules and authorities with the newly integrated EEU rules and authorities) and technical regulations (EEU technical regulation rules, opportunities and potential for the EEU market).  AmCham Russia, USRBC, AmCham Armenia, AmCham EU and AmCham Kazakhstan made their remarks on the EEC and its operation in general.

AmCham President Mr. Tigran Jrbashyan raised a number of issues connected with very different aspects of the transition to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).  

One of the issues concerned the technical difficulties of the return of the Value Added Tax (VAT) on the border. This is a serious obstacle especially for Armenian importers and exporters, since Armenia does not have an actual border with Russia, and the issue with the VAT returns is being regulated by the tax inspectorate.

The second question concerned the authenticity of Armenian conformity certificates.  Although Armenian certificates of conformity are acceptable in Russia, the Russian customs authorities require conformity certificates with the Russian standards from Armenian exporters.

It is expected that the issue with the certificate of conformity will be solved by the summer of 2015, when the list of exporting products from Armenia, the certificate of conformity of which are accepted by other parties, is finalized.

The third question Mr. Jrbashyan raised was that the possession of information of the participants of the EEU is not on a respectable level, in a sense that:

  •  on the “non-central” borders the customs authorities are unaware of the EEU rules, standards and requirements;
  • businesses are not properly aware of the opportunities and potential of the EEU market and the benefits it may bring (for instance, the possibilities of the localization of production within the countries of the EEU). 

The last major question addressed by Mr. Jrbashyan was the importance of the coordinated monetary policy between the participating countries of the EEU, since a devaluation of national currency, floating rates and the withdrawal of a currency cap  among any of the EEU participating countries  could lead to serious problems for other countries/exporters.