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Delegation of the Eurasian Economic Union held talks on establishing a free trade area with Iran

Delegation of the Eurasian Economic Union held talks on establishing a free trade area with Iran

6/16/2017

The delegations of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Islamic Republic of Iran have completed the work on the text of an interim agreement on the establishment of a free trade area. The next round of talks was held on June 13-14 in Tehran (Iran).   

In accordance with the interim agreement, the parties will comply with the fundamental principles of the WTO - provide the most-favoured-nation treatment and national treatment in respect of all the goods within the trade between the EAEU and Iran. The agreed draft agreement stipulates that all fees related to importing goods shall not exceed the cost of services provided for customs clearance. These fees may not be indirect protection for domestic goods or means of additional taxation of imports or exports. Such a requirement is one of the most important in the WTO law and provides predictability of trade regime between countries. 

In the near future, the EAEU and Iran will continue talks on liberalization of mutual access to commodity market, tariff obligations are to be agreed upon.

It is assumed that in the framework of the interim agreement, import duties will be reduced for a minimum number of goods - up to 200 commodity items for the both parties. If the EAEU countries and Iran perceive preferential trade to be effective, in the future it is possible to switch to a full-fledged free trade area. The interim agreement will be concluded for a period of three years. 

According to Veronika Nikishina, the Head of the EAEU delegation, the Member of the Board - Minister in charge of Trade of the EEC, the fact that Iran, which is not a WTO member, has assumed the obligation to respect the trade regime pursuant to the requirements of this Organization, is unprecedented. "Particularly valuable that in case of successful completion of the negotiating process and entry into force of the interim agreement, Iran will implement obligations under such a regime in respect of all bilateral trade, not only of goods, for which preferential tariffs will be agreed upon," Veronika Nikishina said. “All the countries of the Union are already working under the WTO rules, so it was a one-sided assignment of the Iranian colleagues that demonstrates their interest in our trade regime liberalization."