Kazakhstan - Customs RegulationsKazakhstan - Customs Regulations
Kazakhstan’s customs code remains overly complicated and does not encourage transparency or the expeditious movement of goods. This is one of the reasons why the country continues to rank at the bottom (102 out of 189) on the World Bank’s “Trading Across Borders” indicator for 2019.
On January 1, 2010, Kazakhstan adopted the unified customs tariffs and non-tariff regulations of the Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan Customs Union (CU), a legal framework of Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). The CU implemented the new common Customs Code and abolished internal customs borders in July 2011. Detailed information on legal agreements and the customs duties schedule can be found at the website of Eurasian Economic Commission .
Kazakhstan's customs valuation rules largely conform to the WTO Valuation Agreement, and the country has adopted HS 96 as its tariff nomenclature. After nearly two decades of negotiations, in June 2015, Kazakhstan joined World Trade Organization (WTO).
In accordance with the commitments made upon joining the WTO, the associated tariff rates of the country will be below than the rates of the Customs Union (CU) for 3,500 commodity items. After the end of the transition period, the average final bound tariff of Kazakhstan will be 6.9%, while for the rest of the CU countries it should be at the level of 7.8%.
Kazakhstan continues to maintain tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) on imports of poultry, beef, and pork, as part of its obligations within the CU. Precious metals and stones, encrypted technologies, documents from national archives, and items of cultural value are among the products now subject to export licensing. Kazakhstan will remove the requirement on import licensing for alcoholic beverages as a result of Russia’s accession to the WTO.
The Law on Investments provides customs duty exemptions for imported equipment and spare parts, but only if Kazakhstani produced stocks are unavailable or not up to international standards. In addition, imported equipment and spare parts designated for priority investment projects under the recurring governmental industrialization program are exempted from customs duties.
Other reforms allow foreign citizens to import and declare goods at a port of entry without utilizing domestic customs brokers. Previously, foreign citizens that wished to import goods into Kazakhstan were required to have a Kazakhstani partner.
Notwithstanding this reform, foreign citizens may still be required to have domestic customs brokers in order to file electronic customs declarations, unless they have software compatible with the new CU computer system.
Foreign firms can import some items for their own use duty-free including equipment and spare parts imported to implement an investment project, if this equipment is unavailable on the territory of Kazakhstan. Generally, Customs requires that imported goods be placed in a temporary storage warehouse operated by a customs-licensee pending clearance - a procedure that importers claim can add significant costs and delays to customs processing. U.S. firms have noted that the need to present “transaction passports” ranging from document procurements to bank transfers in order to clear their goods with Customs is a significant barrier to trade. Implementation of regulations allowing periodic declarations remains problematic.
Foreign entities cannot deal directly with customs officials in Kazakhstan and are legally required to use services provided by licensed customs brokers having the right to operate in Kazakhstan. The Customs Control Agency maintains a registry of licensed customs brokers and is required to post it at www.keden.kz and http://www.evrazes.com/en/about/ with regular updates.
Kazakhstan Market Access Foreign trade