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Line of heavy trucks at border: Kyrgyzstan complains to WTO

Kyrgyzstan appealed to the World Trade Organization because of difficulties in crossing the border with Kazakhstan by Kyrgyz trucks. The Ministry of Economy of the republic reported.

According to the ministry, since March 2019, there have been significant delays in the movement of transit goods coming from Kyrgyzstan on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan. They are caused by tightened checks by the Kazakh authorities.

«In order to take the necessary measures on resolving the difficult situation at the border, the Kyrgyz Republic had been sending official written appeals to Kazakhstan throughout the past year. Bilateral consultations were held at the WTO site. The Kyrgyz side thoroughly acquainted the Kazakh side with the critical situation of a mass congestion of vehicles with an appeal to remove the applied trade barriers and act within the framework of the rules established by the WTO,» the Ministry of Economy said.

Due to the lack of signs of improvement of the situation on the border, the Deputy Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic Eldar Alisherov and the head of the Representative Office of the WTO Nurbek Maksutov attended a meeting of the Trade Facilitation Committee of the World Trade Organization in Geneva (Switzerland).

«The Kyrgyz Republic informed the WTO members about violations and non-compliance with the international trade rules by Kazakhstan in the form of toughened measures for the passage of freight vehicles, inspection of goods and the difficulty in transit of goods through the territory of the Kyrgyz Republic. The committee members were informed that the actions of the Republic of Kazakhstan led to the congestion of freight transport up to 10 kilometers long, and the number of freight transport units standing idle at the border and in specialized zones is about 250 vehicles. Kazakhstan’s actions cause irreparable harm to Kyrgyzstan’s trade relations with third countries, as well as to each and every freight forwarder of the Kyrgyz Republic,» the statement says.

Based on the results of the speech, Kyrgyzstan cited articles of violated norms of key WTO agreements and urged Kazakhstan to strictly fulfill its obligations and act in the spirit of the agreements of this organization. The Kyrgyz Republic demanded to immediately remove hidden trade barriers and provide unhindered transit routes to Kyrgyz freight forwarders.