Azerbaijan Devises Customs Tariffs Outline Program to Join WTO

Business Materials 26 September 2008 18:18 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, 26 September / Trend corr. A.Badalova/ "The State Customs Committee (SCC) approved the outline program on customs tariffs within joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) by Azerbaijan," SCC Chairman Aydin Aliyev said on 23 September.

"The program has been sent to the Government for consideration, but it will be more intensively discussed during Azerbaijan's entering WTO," said Aliyev.

The top level of the tariffs which Azerbaijan offered to WTO countries achieved 60-70% in the range of goods positions, Mahmud Mammadguliyev, head of the negotiation group and the deputy foreign minister, said earlier.

15% is the highest import customs rate in Azerbaijan.

The Government believes the tariff policy must conform to long-term economic policy and country's market protection must be taken into consideration.  

Earlier, Azerbaijan offered the top customs tariff for agricultural products as 50-80% and the medium tariff as 23%. Tariffs for industrial products, unlike the agrarian, are more liberal and the top customs tariff was offered as 30-50% and medium as 15%. New proposals have not been divulged for the have not yet been completely approved.

The negotiation group will protect the interests of Azerbaijan confronted with WTO members such as the United States and the EU countries. The European Union, a largest agricultural exporter, offers to decrease the rates proposed by Azerbaijan and even to nullify them for several goods. Today, import customs rate of 15% is applied to the final product and 0.5% to raw materials.

At the recent negotiations this year, EU voiced its readiness to discuss decrease of maximum customs rates offered by Azerbaijan within the support to domestic production interests. But this time EU did suggest decreasing them to 15%, as used to do before.

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