Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus agree to launch customs code from Tue

MOSCOW, Jul 5 (PRIME-TASS) -- Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus on Monday signed an agreement putting the customs union's customs code into force from Tuesday for all three countries, ITAR-TASS reported citing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

The customs code came into force for Russia and Kazakhstan from July 1.

The customs union between Russia, Kazakhstan, and Belarus formally came into existence on January 1, 2010, but was unable to start working fully until the customs code came into effect.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he was pleased that Russia's cooperation with Belarus and Kazakhstan within the customs union had reached the "phase of advanced integration", ITAR-TASS reported. He also said he supported the creation of a common currency space on the territory of the customs union in the future.

Russia and Kazakhstan have a right to introduce export duties in their bilateral trade, First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters at the summit. Belarus had always insisted on the abolishment of export duties in bilateral trade within the customs union, he said. "Russia and Kazakhstan - and I stress that it is not only Russia's decision - believe each side keeps the right to levy export duties until the creation of a single economic area," Shuvalov said.

Russia is positive about the creation of the customs union and the single economic area, Shuvalov also said, adding that the single economic area would be the highest stage of integration. The presidents of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan have ordered their governments to prepare the full package of documents for the creation of a single economic area by January 1, 2011, Shuvalov also said. The documents should come into force from January 1, 2012, he said.


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