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January 22, 2013 10:49 pm

Eurasian Economic Commission to develop competition law by July 2013 - minister

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This article is provided to FT.com readers by PaRR (Policy and Regulatory Report)— a newly launched product of The Mergermarket Group providing proprietary intelligence and research on competition law and sector-specific regulatory changes around the world. www.parr-global.com

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The Eurasian Economic Commission is due to develop a model law on competition for the single economic space of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus by July 2013, Andrey Slepnev, the Minister for Trade of the Eurasian Economic Commission told PARR.

By that time, the commission aims to have fleshed out its policies against unfair competition, anti-competitive agreements, and anti-competitive actions of authorities, Slepnev said in an interview with PaRR.

The commission will investigate cross-border issues, as opposed to national cases, with its own competence and expertise in various spheres of trade regulation from tariff and non-tariff measures through to defence measures and anti-dumping investigations to customs cooperation.

One of the main tasks of the commission is to strengthen the competitive advantages of the customs union as a jurisdiction in which to run a business. In order to achieve this, the commission aims, among other measures, to harmonise legislation and form a single competition framework in the member countries, the minister said.

Slepnev told PARR that in the first part of 2013, the commission plans to present a report about various mutual trade barriers such as administrative barriers, technical regulations, copyright regulations, customs declarations, tax administration and other issues that still exist on the territory of the customs union. After the report is issued, the commission will seek to find solutions to overcome such barriers along with national agencies and the business community, he said.

Slepnev said that in definite cases the commission may change current legislation if it contradicts basic agreements of the customs union. For example, the commission has already changed one decree of the Russian Federation, which limited the access of Belarusian producers of worsted cloth (used for uniforms) to Russian state purchase contracts.

Currently, the Eurasian commission is conducting four anti-dumping investigations: these are into corrosion-resistant tubes and pipes, cast iron baths and anti-friction bearings from China and into light commercial vehicles from Germany, Italy, Turkey and Poland, Slepnev said.

The commission is empowered to conduct investigations and introduce anti-dumping, safeguard and countervailing measures since the spring of 2012.

Safeguard measures are restrictions of imports of products imposed temporarily, which are designed to protect domestic industry from an increase in imports of any product which is causing or may cause serious damage to the industry.

The commission is also conducting safeguard investigations into grain combines, porcelain tableware, fabrics and caramel, the minister added.

At the end of 2012, a decision to apply a provisional safeguard duty on combine harvesters and another one introducing a provisional anti-dumping measure against cast iron baths from China were adopted by the commission based on evidence that the customs union industries producing the respective goods suffered injury, he said.

All such investigations are conducted in accordance with WTO requirements. In cases when measures were introduced before Russia’s WTO accession, like in the caramel investigation, certain measures may be reviewed, Slepnev explained.

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