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Outcome of the EEC Council on January 26

Outcome of the EEC Council on January 26

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1/26/2018

The meeting of the EEC Council was held on January 26 at the headquarters of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). A wide range of issues related to integration interaction have been discussed. A number of decisions have been made in the field of veterinary and phytosanitary control, trade and industrial policies, and draft documents proposed for consideration at the Intergovernmental and the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meetings have been adopted.

The Members of the Council have discussed the programme of the Forum on Digital Economy, which will be held in Almaty (Kazakhstan) this year on February 2. Igor Shuvalov, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, who chaired the meeting of the EEC Council, noted that the implementation of the common digital agenda is a fundamentally important task for all countries of the Union. “We need to ensure the universal traceability of goods, including through the introduction of labelling, and to organize common trade platforms, as well as to apply digital technologies while carrying out various common industrial projects,” pointed out Igor Shuvalov.

It was decided to extend the zero rate of the customs duty for polyethylene intended to be applied as the factory three-layer anticorrosion coating to large diameter pipes (LDPs) (code 3901 20 900 1 of the EAEU Single Nomenclature for Goods Applied in Foreign Economic Activities). This measure will be effective as of January 1 up to and including September 30, 2018.

The zero rate duty had been previously established by the Decision of the EEC Council as of January 1, 2017 up to and including December 31, 2017. The rate of import customs duty with regard to polyethylene intended for LDPs as established by the EAEU Single Customs Tariff is 6.5%.

Polyethylene intended for large diameter pipes is used in the manufacture of welded steel pipes designed for the construction of pipelines, including main gas-, oil- and oil products pipelines. The share of polyethylene in the prime cost of finished products is about 7%.

Currently, the manufacturing capacity of the EAEU countries’ enterprises is not enough to meet domestic demand for this kind of goods. In 2018, the need of Russian manufacturers of LDPs for imported polyethylene will make at least 25% (more than 20 thousand tons) of the total need of pipe manufacturers for this material. Its main consumers in Russia are PJSC “Pipe Metallurgical Company,” JSC “United Metallurgical Company”, PJSC “Chelyabinsk Tube Rolling Plant”, and PJSC “Severstal”.

The introduction of zero rate customs duty will allow to reduce the prime cost of large diameter pipes due to cost saving when purchasing imported polyethylene, as well as to increase the competitiveness of domestic manufacturers of this type of products. As the manufacturers of LDPs estimate, the introduction of the proposed measure will allow increasing the exports of large diameter pipes by no less than 130 thousand tons.

A Draft Agreement on Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terror Financing Information Exchange in terms of the transfer of cash and/or monetary instruments across the customs border of the Eurasian Economic Union has been adopted.

This document will allow the Member States to exchange information declared when transferring cash and monetary instruments across the customs border of the Union.

The draft agreement implies that the Member States shall designate authorities to be responsible for the creation of a database on the transfer of cash and monetary instruments, as well as authorities that will respond to requests from other countries. The database itself will be created based on the information declared by individuals in the passenger customs declaration and declaration for goods. The document will specify the procedure for creating requests for the provision of information from databases, the period of their execution and the cases of refusal of their execution.

The information obtained within the framework of the agreement is confidential and cannot be used for purposes other than those for which it was requested and provided without a written consent of the authority, which provided such information.

The document adopted by the EEC Council will be sent to the Member States in order to carry out internal legal procedures.

Changes to the Requirements for Material and Technical Equipment and Arrangement of Plant Quarantine Offices (Phytosanitary Control Stations, PCSs) have been approved.

In particular, the section of the document on general requirements for the equipment of the PCSs will be completed with the paragraph, which prescribes that the buildings, structures and premises of phytosanitary control stations must ensure the safety of quarantineable products to carry out quarantine phytosanitary control.
The entry into force of the relevant Decision of the Commission’s Council will allow harmonizing the requirements for material and technical equipment of the PCSs located within the checkpoints on the external border of the Union and on the territories of the Member States of the Union, and will also increase the effectiveness of quarantine phytosanitary control. Such requirements create the legal basis for material and technical equipment and arrangement of the PCSs established in places as defined in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Member States of the Union.

The introduction of the above changes will prevent the threat of bringing in and distributing quarantine pests and will allow eliminating unreasonable administrative barriers in mutual trade of quarantineable products.

The Rules of Good Cultivation, Collection, Processing and Storage Practice for Starting materials of Herbal Origin have been adopted. The norms of the document also apply to medicinal herbal raw materials cultivated according to the rules of organic production, and to harvesting wild herbal medicinal plants.

The application of these rules will allow creating within the States of the Union a single approach in handling the raw materials at the stages of cultivation, collection, and storage. The rules are harmonized with the Guidelines of the European Medicines Agency on Good Agricultural and Collection Practice for Starting materials of Herbal Origin.

This document contains a minimum list of requirements for premises intended for processing and storage of medicinal herbal raw materials, for the preparation of documentation on collected or harvested raw materials, which allows tracing its history of cultivation (harvesting). A separate section sets forth the requirements to be specified in contracts related to the procurement of raw materials by the manufacturer of herbal medicines.

In particular, the premises in which the collected medicinal herbal raw materials are processed must be clean and ventilated. Keeping livestock in them is not allowed. The collected raw materials must be protected from birds, insects and rodents. The buildings, in which medicinal herbal raw materials are processed, must be equipped with cloakrooms and toilets suitable for washing hands and separated from production facilities.

The rules also provide for the creation of an effective quality assurance system for medicinal herbal raw materials, including through setting the standards and rules, which will allow guaranteeing the safety of consumers, to ensure the separate storage of various plants and to avoid making harm to the environment.