November 10, 2017, during the regular meeting of the Council for Trade in Goods of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in accordance with the request of the Kyrgyz Republic to the WTO, the situation on the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border was discussed.
The Deputy Minister of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Almaz Sazbakov delivered a statement regarding the current situation on the border and noted that the Republic of Kazakhstan violated a number of provisions of the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as the WTO Agreements on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The representative of the Kyrgyz Republic also described the economic consequences of the measures taken by Kazakhstan at the border between the two states.
In their brief comments made following the speech of the Kyrgyz delegation, a number of the WTO members, in particular Japan, the Republic of Korea and the Republic of Moldova, emphasized the need to resolve the existing trade and economic issues through bilateral consultations and called on Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to continue the dialogue with the objective to find a mutually acceptable solution based on the WTO rules.
The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan Ms. Zhanar Aitzhanova responded that the measures applied by Kazakhstan at the border are primarily aimed at ensuring safety of products imported into the common market of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) in accordance with the national legislation of Kazakhstan, which fully corresponds to the WTO norms, as well as the EAEU regulation.
In this regard, the transport control measures that require compliance with the weight parameters for freight transport are not discriminatory and applied equally to both Kazakhstani and foreign carriers of goods. Therefore, measures taken by Kazakhstan are based on the fundamental WTO principle providing "national treatment" in respect of imported goods.
In response to Kyrgyzstan's statement on introduction of restrictive measures against imports of Kyrgyz goods without giving any advance notice, the representative of Kazakhstan reminded that the relevant notification on temporary import restrictions on certain types of fruits from the Kyrgyz Republic was submitted to the WTO Secretariat in November 2016.
In the field of technical regulations, with the purpose to prevent imports of counterfeit goods, Kazakhstan required the conformity certificates for goods manufactured in Kyrgyzstan on the basis of rules of origin.
The border control measures applied with regard to natural persons crossing the border in accordance with the migration legislation of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the same time, the representative of Kazakhstan pointed out that measures implemented by Kazakhstan fully comply with the provisions of the WTO agreements, in particular, articles I (General Most-Favored-Nation Treatment), III (National Treatment) and V (Freedom of Transit) of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, as well as the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.
The Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan also emphasized that all the issues related to the situation at the border need to be resolved by using the full potential of bilateral mechanisms as well as the mechanisms that exist within the EAEU. In conclusion, Kazakhstan's representative called on the Kyrgyz Republic to fully implement its commitments made upon accession to the EAEU and the WTO rules.