Kazakhstan - Trade AgreementsKazakhstan - Trade Agreements
Kazakhstan submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR) to the WTO in 1996, and the first round of consultations on accession took place in 1997. Kazakhstan became a WTO member on November 30, 2015. Kazakhstan officially entered into a Customs Union with Russia and Belarus on July 1, 2010 and was a founding member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), created on May 29, 2014, between Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyz Republic, and Russia (Armenia joined in 2015). Since that time, Kazakhstan’s trade policy has been heavily influenced by EAEU regulations. While Kazakhstan asserts that EAEU agreements comply with WTO standards, since joining the Customs Union, Kazakhstan has doubled its average import tariff and introduced annual tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on poultry and beef.
How Kazakhstan will reconcile conflicting commitments under the WTO and EAEU is still unclear. Under its WTO commitments, Kazakhstan agreed to gradually lower 3,512 tariff rates to an average of 6.1 percent by 2020. In January 2016, the country began applying lower-than-CET tariff rates to certain food products, automobiles, airplanes, railway wagons, lumber, alcoholic beverages, pharmaceuticals, freezers, and jewelry.
Kazakhstan lowered additional tariff rates in 2017 and 2018, and a total of 2,900 tariff rates were below CET tariffs as of December 1, 2018. Kazakhstan introduced administrative measures to prevent the re-export of goods released at these lower tariff rates to Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, or Russia.
In response of criticism of U.S. exporters, Kazakhstan developed new rules for allocating TRQs that establish clear deadlines and delineate responsibility among government agencies.
Kazakhstan’s government is optimistic that further integration with the EAEU will make Kazakhstan more attractive for foreign investment by expanding market access to EAEU member countries.
Kazakhstan is a signatory of a Free Trade Agreement with CIS countries. In addition, as a member of the EAEU, Kazakhstan is party to a Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and Vietnam. Earlier in 2019, Kazakhstan ratified an interim agreement on forming a free trade area between Iran and the EAEU.
Kazakhstan Trade Development and Promotion Trade Agreements