20 november 2017

Central Asia news

Uzbekistan simplifies order on import and export of goods

08.11.2017 10:50 msk

Ferghana


Uzbek authorities are introducing new rules designed to simplify the order governing the import and export of goods.

Three documents, namely the decree of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and two resolutions, will simplify the procedure.

According to the new rules, starting from 1 December, entrepreneurs will be able to export goods, works and services using foreign currency without pre-payment and opening a letter of credit; they will not have to issue bank guarantees and a policy on insurance of the export contract against political and commercial risks.

Moreover, the customs clearance for export will be allowed without reference to the calculations in the Unified Electronic Information System for Foreign Trade Operations (UEISFT). Exceptions are provided for fruit and vegetable products and certain primary commodities specified in the annex of the documents.

With a 100 per cent pre-payment to entrepreneurs' accounts in the banks of Uzbekistan, they will be entitled to exporting goods abroad without entering into an export contract, based on the invoices (but in this case, information about the transaction will have to be registered with UEISFT).

This measure is designed, in particular, to intensify cross-border trade. It also concerns exporters of fruit and vegetable production; however the sum of delivery for them should not exceed $ 20,000 on the day of registration of the export customs declaration.

The presidential decree sets a single deadline - 120 calendar days - after which expired accounts receivable for export transactions are formed. Norma.uznews said these terms vary and the number of days varies between 60, 90 and 180. For the export of works and services, the time for the formation of arrears will be counted from the moment of signing the acceptance certificate for the work performed and for the export of goods, it will be counted from the moment of registration of the cargo customs declaration.

This provision does not apply to goods exported by the resident founders of Uzbekistan to organisations abroad (trading houses, trade missions, subsidiaries, corporate stores, dealer networks and consignment warehouses), as well as members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry addressed to trade and investment houses of the Chambers. For them, according to Sputnik news agency, as before, the terms of receipt of payment will be 180 days.

Under the new rules, if the exporter has overdue accounts receivable, he will retain the right of export. However, there will be no indulgence with documents of the exporter, that is, he will have to take advance payment, open a letter of credit, insure the contract and so on. And suppliers of agricultural products will also be prohibited from exporting goods to a foreign buyer-debtor.

Importers and exporters of farm products will create a single information portal. It will contain information on agricultural products of domestic production, its grades and prices, as well as requests of foreign buyers for its acquisition.

In addition, starting from 1 December, Uzbek entrepreneurs will see the following innovations:

- The amount of accounts receivable under the export contract will be reduced at the expense of insurance indemnity that has arrived at the exporter's account;

- The permission of customs to re-export goods under the temporary import customs regime will no longer be required;

- Importers will not have to provide an export cargo customs declaration to confirm the value of goods imported into Uzbekistan with the use of customs payments;

- The deadlines for receipt of proceeds in foreign currency for the period of force majeure will be extended;

- Starting from November 10, the information and analytical department under the government of the republic will be engaged in licensing the export and import of specific goods. From the list of licensed goods, jewellery, precious metal products, as well as precious stones and articles thereof, will be excluded.

Also, the authorities will cancel the examination of import contracts with a sum of less than $100,000. Contracts with a larger amount will be concluded on the basis of the results of the tenders, either examination of the tender documentation or evaluation of proposals during the tender will be conducted. The import contracts, concluded on the basis of the results of the tender, will also be registered without additional expertise.

The draft resolution on the simplification of the import and export of goods and services has been discussed for about a month. The first version of the document, in particular, removes the provision that allows business people to independently choose payment terms for foreign trade contracts. In addition, the allowable period of account receivables in 120 days is extended only to export contracts, although in the project it concerns imports too.

Uzbek authorities have demonstrated their desire to gradually remove administrative barriers to exports and to facilitate the life of local entrepreneurs. So, last summer all subjects of entrepreneurship were allowed free export abroad of fresh produce, grapes and melons and gourds without the control of the monopolist Uzagroexport JSC. At the same time, the president abolished the rule that exporters were required to sell part of the foreign exchange earnings to the state.

The foreign trade turnover of Uzbekistan for January to September 2017 amounted to more than $19.95 billion. This indicator increased by 16.7 percent, compared with the same period last year. Over 10.35 billion were exported, 9.6 billion were imported. Among the main foreign trade partners of Uzbekistan are Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Turkey.

Fergana News Agency