_ Jurij Kofner, head, Eurasian sector, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, Higher School of Economics. Munich, 10 August 2019.
During the meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, held on August 9, 2019 in Cholpon-Ata (Kyrgyz Republic), important decisions were made in the areas of implementing the digital agenda of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the interaction of the Union countries on industrial cooperation, trade cooperation and several other sectors.
The Eurasian Economic Union operates through supranational and intergovernmental institutions. The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council is the supreme body of the Union, consisting of the Heads of the member states. The second level of intergovernmental institutions is represented by the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council consisting of the heads of the governments of the member states. The day-to-day work of the EAEU is done through the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), the executive body of the Union.
The Intergovernmental Council approved the Concept of cross-border information interaction to ensure information interaction between legal entities (business entities) of the Union countries among themselves and with government bodies of member states. It is assumed that the implementation of the concept will create opportunities for the interaction between business and government agencies using electronic digital signatures. It is expected that the requirements for infrastructure entities, operators providing such services, and other rules will be developed and approved by the EAEU countries until May 2020.
The council members approved joint forecasts for the development of the agro-industrial complex, demand and supply balances of the Union countries on agricultural products, food, flax fiber, leather raw materials, cotton fiber and wool for 2019–2020.
According to the forecast, in 2020, in comparison with 2017 as a whole for the Union, agricultural production in will increase by 3.7% to $ 118.6 billion. The growth of mutual trade will be 24% – thus, the volume of mutual supplies will grow to 10.4 billion dollars. Exports to third countries will increase by 19.2%, which will amount to $ 4.1 billion, while imports will increase by 3.2%. In 2020, imports of agricultural products and food from third countries to the Union will amount to $ 31.3 billion, while exports from the Union to third countries will amount to $ 56.7 billion.
The Intergovernmental Council approved an updated passport of the project “Eurasian Network of Industrial Cooperation, Subcontracting and Technology Transfer”.
The aim of the project is to create a digital ecosystem to ensure the interaction of business entities of the EAEU member states for industrial cooperation, subcontracting and technology transfer, to ensure the modeling of production chains and optimal utilization of production capacities, as well as to stimulate innovative processes through technology transfer.
As part of the project, the register of economic entities of the Eurasian network by the end of 2020 should contain about 50 thousand economic entities, and by 2024 – almost 125 thousand
According to the main scenario, by the end of 2020, more than 350 contracts worth about 9.7 billion Russian rubles should be concluded within the Eurasian network, and by 2024 more than 3.5 thousand contracts worth a total of more than 110 billion rubles.
Members of the Intergovernmental Council signed an agreement on the transboundary movement of hazardous waste through the customs territory of the EAEU.
The document was developed by the countries of the Union together with the Commission to ensure the protection of life and health of citizens of the member states and the environment, as well as the fulfillment of international obligations under the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and their disposal.
The agreement regulates the relations associated with the transfer from one country of the Union to another, for example, waste containing arsenic, mercury or its compounds, dust from metallurgical industries and glass production containing beryllium, galvanic precipitates, organochloric acid production wastes, etc.
The agreement applies to legal entities and individuals registered as individual entrepreneurs engaged in cross-border transportation of waste in the mutual trade of the EAEU countries. The transboundary movement of waste by individuals for personal use is prohibited.
The implementation of the agreement will provide a permissive procedure for the transboundary movement of hazardous waste in the Union, the interaction of the authorized bodies of the Member States, which includes, among other things, informing of the issued conclusions (permits) and detected violations during such transportation.
The council instructed the Eurasian Economic Commission, together with the governments of the Union countries, to analyze the possibilities of harmonizing corporate law with a view to introducing the legal form “Eurasian company” (societas eurasicae).
The commission has already studied the experience of the European Union and the so-called European companies (societas europeae). The results of the analysis showed that the use of EU experience in the formation of a supranational corporate law system within the Union will be a logical continuation of Eurasian economic integration.
This form will create favorable conditions for the involvement of manufacturers in international cooperation chains, facilitate access to foreign markets and facilitate the positioning of the Union companies in world markets. In addition, for certain sectors of the economy, this may become an incentive for a significant deepening of integration and the removal of obstacles in the domestic market of the Union.
The Intergovernmental Council was presented with a report on the crediting and distribution of the amounts of import customs duties between the budgets of the state members.
Before January 1, 2020, the EAEU countries established the following standards for the distribution of import customs duties: Republic of Armenia – 1.220%, Republic of Belarus – 4.560%, Republic of Kazakhstan – 7.055%, Kyrgyz Republic – 1.900%, Russian Federation – 85.265%.
As noted in the report, in 2018, the total amount of import customs duties collected and distributed between countries increased by 6% – from 11.6 to 12.3 billion US dollars.
In the structure of revenues of the republican (federal) budgets, income from import duties amounted to: in the Republic of Armenia – 5.4%, the Republic of Belarus – 4.5%, the Republic of Kazakhstan – 3.4%, the Kyrgyz Republic – 11.8%, the Russian Federation – 3.4%.
The report also provides information on factors affecting the revenues to the budgets of the EAEU countries, on the reciprocal flows of the amount of import customs duties between the member states, on the mutual export and import of goods originating from non-CIS countries.
The Intergovernmental Council instructed the EEC Board to continue monitoring the implementation of the Protocol on the procedure for crediting and distribution of import customs duties.
The Council adopted the technical regulation on energy efficiency of household appliances. This is the first regulation adopted at the Union level, which is not directly related to the safety of goods.
Acting upon an intiative by Belarus, the prime ministers instructed the Eurasian Economic Commission, together with the relevant structures of the countries – members of the union, to work out coordinated approaches in order to remove existing intra-union trade barriers concerning the free movement of agro-food products, in particular dairy products. The EEC was entrusted to prepare changes to the technical regulations for the next meeting, the legal framework of the union should be aimed at removing barriers.
The Intergovernmental Council considered and discussed the Agreement on the harmonization of the legislation of the EAEU member states in the field of the financial market, which is due to enter into force in 2020.