Economy • 09 September, 2019

Bakhyt Sultanov speaks about measures to combat unscrupulous import

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At a press conference in the Government, the Minister of Trade and Integration Bakhyt Sultanov spoke about the implementation of the Address of the President regarding the export development and improving the quality of Kazakhstani products, primeminister.kz reports.

The minister said that the Head of State Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has repeatedly noted the importance of improving the quality of Kazakhstani products. Domestic manufacturers must have all the conditions in order to strive to improve the quality of their own products.

“We cannot buy products that are worse in quality and more expensive than foreign counterparts. This goal is a red thread through the plans for the development of the Kazakhstani economy, which were announced in the election program of the President and the recent Address to the people of Kazakhstan. Therefore, we emphasized the sphere of technical regulation,” said Sultanov.

The minister proposed to ban the import of goods that did not pass quality confirmation according to the technical requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan. For example, a conditional release procedure was introduced — when a product passes customs clearance with an obligation to pass a test within 2 months and receive a certificate of conformity. But in the end, they were faced with the fact that often imported products avoid the certification procedure and simply “dissolve” in the Kazakhstani market.

“Therefore, the Ministry of Trade and Integration is proposing to cancel the conditional release procedure. It is assumed that the technical regulation system will prevent distributors, resellers from bringing low-quality goods, buying ‘gray’ certificates on the market,” the minister said.

Sultanov noted that the ministry is working on destroying this market. In this case, various tools will be used: modern and at the legislative level.

Sultanov also said that the National Accreditation Center has begun work to identify the issuance of "gray" certificates and falsified documents.

“We urge bona fide entrepreneurs to unite and together with us protect the domestic market from such fraudulent schemes,” the minister said.

In addition, the minister proposed to put a barrier to such “imported garbage” and prohibit the import of products without preliminary tests. That is, the importer must first confirm the quality of the goods that he wants to put on the Kazakhstan market, his compliance with the technical requirements of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and then already had the right to cross the border.

Sultanov said that the appropriate infrastructure will be created: laboratories and accreditation centers will be built both in Kazakhstan and abroad, so that the goods of bona fide suppliers freely pass through all the control and supervision bodies and get on shelves and from end customers. Work is underway to develop a laboratory base.

One of the effective tools to combat shadow trafficking and counterfeiting is the introduction of a system for labeling and traceability of goods.

“Some entrepreneurs think that there will be an additional burden on them. Not. We want to create a system that will be with a minimum of workload, but the system allows the business itself to create a system of additional protection against counterfeit products and protect competition in the market,” the minister said.

Pilot projects for the labeling of tobacco, alcohol, shoes, medicines have already been launched. Last year, a pilot project for marking fur coats was implemented. The pilots, according to the ministry, showed a positive impact of this mechanism on competition and product quality in the market. Sultanov noted that the introduction of a labeling mechanism is expected to have a positive multiplier effect on the economy of Kazakhstan.

In addition, quality standards are being reviewed in accordance with international requirements.

“Technical regulation today is one of the proven, effective tools to support the economy of simple things in Kazakhstan. And in fact it is a protective, protectionist measure against unscrupulous imports,” Sultanov emphasized.

The revision of the standards will improve the competitiveness of our products and ensure free access of Kazakhstani goods to foreign markets.

For example, if the standard of domestic furniture is in line with the European standard, then this Kazakhstani chair, table or chair can gain access to the markets of European countries. That is, they will become identical in quality and will compete only in price. But at the same time, the same standard is valid in the Republic of Kazakhstan. That is, in Kazakhstan, all tables and chairs will be made of higher quality.

In addition, high-quality products made to high standards get the opportunity to bargain through multinational distribution networks.

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