Representatives of Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan agreed common principles for regulating the activity of natural monopoly subjects, in addition to rules governing industrial subsidies and state support for agriculture, to ensure a ‘fair and level playing field’. In addition, common principles were agreed to regulate intellectual property protection, and on conditions for financial markets, to ensure free movement of capital and co-ordinated principles of currency policy.
Of course, at the initial stages of the Customs Union’s existence, our countries faced a range of difficulties. In particular, significant changes were rapidly implemented to legislation, necessitating quick adaptation to new conditions. Enterprises had to think on their feet. For example, in Belarus, customs bodies accompanied foreign trade operations ‘manually’ for some time, simultaneously teaching new rules to businesses.
In reality, the Customs Union is a serious impetus for businessmen to promote mutual trade. Customs barriers have been lifted, while no additional expense has been imposed on customs operations. All products produced domestically move within the three states duty free. Volumes of trade between Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have grown 25 percent in just one year.
Specialists stress that the Customs Union’s GDP now exceeds $2 trillion. By 2015, a total integration effect will reach supposedly $400bn, aided by a single transport, energy and information space. Our national economies are to unite as a single complex, able to co-ordinate socio-economic development, while creating a single structural, innovative, foreign economic and social policy.
A recent innovation implemented within the Customs Union’s framework is the abolishment of customs borders between members, launched on July 1st, 2011. Cargoes travelling from one country to the next won’t be subject to customs procedures, so all control will shift to external borders.