Presence of poor quality products in market reduces prestige of country

Today target of Azerbaijan is the integration of the country into the world economic space, including entrance to the World Trade Organization (WTO). But one of the basic requirements of WTO is the quality of products.

However, unfortunately, the majority of goods in Azerbaijan do not correspond to the standards of quality and safety. Basic problems in the market are nonconformity with the standards of packing, storage and realization of goods, nonobservance of health and hygiene norms. Problems are also connected with the realization of fruits and vegetables, meat, milk, fish. The cases of the repeated use of a plastic container sufficiently frequently are encountered.

In March 2007 to March 2008, State Consumer Market Control Service of the Ministry of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, which conducts works on the guarantee of a market with qualitative production, registered about 394 products, which passed laboratory examination. According to the results of analyzes, 170 goods they proved to be of poor quality, 140 - did not correspond to the technical-normative of requirement, 84 goods were not possible to be estimated.

As a result, about 112.6kg of overdue products and 1,600 kg of the products of unknown origin were withdrawn from turnover. Service noted what the situation with sale of poor quality products is observed in Baku basically in the markets, there were revealed the facts of sale of carrion, sale of the margarine under the guise of butter, the cases of sale of the poor quality alcoholic drinks prepared with primitive method.

The problem of the poor-quality products imported into the country also remains sharp. During the recently carried out monitoring of the control over the quality of goods in the consumer market, the State Service discovered products with the overdue period of production and marked with the false date of production. There were also discovered overdue pastries, cakes and chocolate of Moldavian and Russian firms.

Furthermore, the domestic market receives many dangerous vegetables and fruits of the Turkish origin, the volume of nitrates and pesticides in which exceeds the permissible standard dozens of times. Nitrates and nitrites are dangerous for the health by the fact that falling into the organism, they are accumulated and are not derived. There are specific risks with a constant use of the production, which contains toxic chemicals, or nitrites.

For example, Russia has already stopped the import of the production of plant origin (eggplants, tomatoes, grapes and lemons) from Turkey since Russian Agricultural Control Department repeatedly faced systematic disturbances of international and Russian requirements by the Turkish side. However, Turkey is a leader-country after Russia with the greatest volume of import into Azerbaijan, which as a result of January-May imported goods in amount of $268.0mln, which is 10.85% of the general import.

This problem in the republic will exist until the owners of markets and stores, which receive the imported goods, begin to require the supplier the production certificates.

In the pharmaceutical market of Azerbaijan, the situation that is not less suppressing. The Ministry of Health introduced the process of the obligatory state registration of the medicines, imported into the country, to present barriers for the import of the medicines of unknown origin.

Up to now, 80% of imported medicines were brought into the country without registration and the majority of them are of unknown origin, but the introduced process has not yield special results yet. Thus, although new the rules of the State registration of medicines made it possible to determine the number of registered medicines, which comprised 3,500, still there are medicines presenting obvious threats for safety of life and health of citizens in the market of Azerbaijan. Of 1100 chemist's shop, nearly 900,000 medicines were withdrawn because of the expiration of fitness period. Possibly, these medicines, which were imported even before the registration, but entire problem is that these medicines are still bought.

Azerbaijan needs to accelerate the entrance to the WTO in order to attain rights on the protection of domestic intellectual property. Monthly the State Agency on Copyrights of Azerbaijan records 100-130 works. Last month there were registered nearly 97 works, and in January - 117 works. Thus, the registration of copyrights in Azerbaijan is not obligatory yet, and apparently because of it, both models of folklore, song and different software are stolen from the country. Today, for example, the State Agency on Copyrights of Azerbaijan declares weakness on combating the facts of Armenian plagiarism, which from year to year increasingly more grows.

Recently the delegation of Azerbaijan visited Switzerland to attend the seminar, where this question was raised against. But the problem of Armenian plagiarism was not discussed in any country. The international organizations declare that they can not give positive response to the questions being raised by the Azerbaijani side. They recognize that the Armenians appropriate the Azerbaijani works of folklore, song and others, but they do not have mechanisms to undertake any measures. Only Azerbaijan's entrance to the WTO will make it possible to solve this problem.

After joining this international organization, Azerbaijan will be able to resolve numerous problems, which appear in export of the products to the world markets. For example, in this situation and due to the rates of development in the country, the companies begin to record their commercial marks. But because of the illiteracy in the procedure of the registration of companies, there appear disputable moments - use of strange stamps of goods. I.e., someone can name its firm analogously with well-known company in the world. In the country, which develops rapidly, the number of those patented is scarcely higher than ten people. If Azerbaijan succeeds in joining the WTO in the near future, all these basic standards of international business- practices will be adopted more successfully.

Besides the expectation of the entrance to the WTO, Azerbaijan attempts to combat the situation, increasing amount of penalties for the production, sale and the import of poor quality products. The State Agency on Metrology, Standardization and Patents devised a law draft and sent it to the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan for the approval. Legislation is under consideration of the Cabinet of Ministers, after which it will be directed to the Parliament of the Country for complete approval. "According to the new legislation, the amount of penalty for physical and legal persons will comprise, correspondingly, from AZN 2000 to AZN 3000 against AZN 44-220 currently. An increase in the amount of penalty is connected with the useless fight against the poor quality products through the present amounts of the sanctions," A.Afsharov, Head of Agency, said.

In Azerbaijan there are a number of the laws, such as Law on Rights of Users, which provides protection of the rights of users via the realization of control over the observance of the rules of trade and service in the spheres of trade, and Law on Foodstuffs, in accordance with which the producer is obligated to pack and mark his/her production, indicate name and address of producer, release date of production, period of fitness and data about the conditions for its storage. However, in practice these requirements are not always carried out, the parameters are not fixed by the producers of production. Furthermore, up to now there is no ecological mark in Azerbaijan and therefore, there is no conventional system of ecological marking. The right to use them can be obtained only the company, which passed examination and proved ecological safety and high quality of its production.Today, being prepared for the entrance to WTO, the country must obligatorily demonstrate that the measures for providing safety of foodstuffs give guarantee for reliable protection of human health and do not create superfluous obstacles for trade.

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