Describes the country's standards landscape, identifies the national standards and accreditation bodies, and lists the main national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.
Last Published: 9/19/2018
 
Overview
Certification and/or conformity assessment procedures are part of the national system of technical regulation. In November 2015, Kazakhstan joined the WTO. To bring Kazakhstan standards more in line with international standards, in 2007 Kazakhstan adopted a number of laws and amendments to the existing Law on Technical Regulations including such laws as Safety of Chemical Products, Safety of Food Products, Safety of Toys, and Safety of Equipment and Machinery.  The national file of standards now includes 70,500 rules and norms, including 16,110 representing international standards (International Organization for Standardization) and 2,295 American national standards (American National Standards Institute).  These standards are applied in all economic sectors.
Under the current regulations, safety standards acquire the status of normative documents, mandatory for consideration, while quality standards will gradually become voluntary.  The functions of governmental bodies will be limited to dealing with safety control issues.  Technical regulations will acquire the status of laws and will be intended to ensure the safety of life and health of consumers.  Other standards relating to quality of goods will be given a voluntary status, and manufacturers will no longer be forced to follow outdated requirements dictating a shape, or color of goods as it was under previous legislation.
Standards
The Committee on Technical Regulation and Metrology (Gosstandart), under the Ministry of Investments and Development, is the national agency administrating technical regulation issues in Kazakhstan.  Gosstandart is subdivided into three subordinate enterprises: the Kazakh Institute for Standardization and Certification, the Kazakh Institute of Metrology, and National Center of Accreditation.
Testing, Inspection and Certification
The existing procedure of conformity assessment applied in Kazakhstan does not allow for 100% application of international standards due to legal and technical inconsistencies.  Kazakhstan entered the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) in 2010 and joined the International Accreditation Forum (IAF) in 2013.
The Conformity Assessment is based on the legislature of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Any goods imported into Kazakhstan and included on the mandatory list of goods are subject to the mandatory procedure of certification under national requirements.  The list includes machines, cars, agricultural and telecommunication equipment, electro-technical equipment, construction materials and equipment, fuel, clothes, toys, food, medical and veterinary equipment, as well as drugs.  Contracts for goods delivery should be accompanied by the following documents: product description, country of origin certificate, name of producer, customs declaration, expiration date, storage requirements, and user manuals printed in Kazakh and Russian. Foreign certificates, testing protocols, and compliance indicators of imported products should correspond to appropriate international treaties.
In Kazakhstan, as well as in other CIS countries, mandatory requirements for goods are set out in standards and legal documents regulating sanitary, environmental, veterinary and other issues, thus requiring further harmonization efforts.
The existing system of conformity assessment represents an onerous set of procedures that includes, among others: state control over conformity with mandatory standard requirements, mandatory certification and examination, and registration.
Publication of Technical Regulations
Firms can subscribe to SNIP, which publishes monthly updates to technical regulations and standards in use in Kazakhstan.
“Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade. Notify U.S. (www.nist.gov/notifyus) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country(ies) and industry sector(s) of interest, and can also request full texts of regulations.  This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.” 

Trade Agreements

Kazakhstan submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime (MFTR) to the WTO in 1996, and the first round of consultations on accession took place in 1997. Kazakhstan became a WTO member on November 30, 2015. Kazakhstan officially entered into a Customs Union with Russia and Belarus on July 1, 2010, and was a founding member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), created on May 29, 2014, between Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyz Republic, and Russia. Since that time, Kazakhstan’s trade policy has been heavily influenced by EAEU regulations. While Kazakhstan asserts that EAEU agreements comply with WTO standards, since joining the Customs Union, Kazakhstan has doubled its average import tariff and introduced annual tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on poultry and beef. U.S. exporters have criticized the trade-limiting effects of these TRQs, and the way they are calculated and distributed. In October 2017, Kazakhstan developed new rules for allocating TRQs that establish clear deadlines and delineate responsibility among government agencies.
According to its WTO commitments, Kazakhstan will lower 3,512 import tariff rates to an average of 6.1 percent by 2020. Since January 2016, Kazakhstan has applied a lower-than-Customs Union tariff rate on food products, cars, airplanes, lumber, medicine, and jewelry.
Kazakhstan’s government is optimistic that further integration with the EAEU will make Kazakhstan more attractive for foreign investment by expanding market access to EAEU member countries.
Kazakhstan is a signatory of a Free Trade Agreement with CIS countries. In addition, as a member of the EAEU, Kazakhstan is party to a Free Trade Agreement between the EAEU and Vietnam. In May 2018, Kazakhstan joined an agreement establishing an interim free trade area between Iran and the EAEU.

 

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Kazakhstan Market Access Trade Development and Promotion