21 july 2022
2 min
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Agricultural producers of Kazakhstan against the EAEU agreement on organics

Agricultural producers of Kazakhstan against the EAEU agreement on organics

This was announced at the Kazakhstan Field Day “Jańa Dala/Green Day ‘2022” by the Director of the Union of Organic Producers of Kazakhstan Arsen Kerimbekov. He explained the position of organics and the consequences of concluding an agreement on the circulation of organic agricultural products in the EAEU at the international conference "Organic Central Asia", reports World of NAN.

To recall, the initiative to create a common market was announced a year ago at a meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council. The countries of the Union had to develop an international agreement that would ensure the free movement of organic agricultural products in the EAEU. The key provision of the agreement would be the approval of uniform requirements for the production and labeling of organic products. This, in turn, will ensure mutual recognition in the Union of certification systems for its production.

“The agreement will be developed taking into account international experience in this area, which in the future will help the producers of our states to supply organic products from the EAEU to external premium markets,” Artak Kamalyan, Minister for Industry and Agro-Industrial Complex of the EEC, said at the time.

However, according to Arsen Kerimbekov, by signing the agreement, the member countries of the Union, including Kazakhstan, will fully transfer the right to conduct all negotiations on organic products to the Eurasian Economic Commission.

“Since last year, the topic has been raised - it is necessary to make an agreement on organic matter. We did not understand, we asked why. Don't we already have trade? Now is the final phase of negotiations. We prepared and sent a letter, and to the MOA too, called "Article 5". We wrote that in that case Kazakhstan will be deprived of sovereignty by equivalence. Kyrgyzstan, Armenia too. It turns out that the EEC will now negotiate for us,” the director of the Union does not hide his dissatisfaction.

As it turned out, Article 5 of the agreement states the following: “Products imported into the customs territory of the Union as organic must have a certificate obtained in the manner prescribed by this agreement, unless otherwise provided by an international treaty of the union with a third party.”

According to the speaker, on July 5, at a meeting of the work group, to a direct question, does this mean that now no EAEU country will be able to negotiate the equivalence of certificates with a country that is not a member of the EAEU, and that such negotiations are the exclusive prerogative of the EEC, from Representatives answered in the affirmative.

“It turns out that by signing the project, Kazakhstan loses its sovereignty in recognizing equivalence with countries that are not members of the EAEU. Therefore, we ask to involve experts and develop the position of our country that protects the interests of Kazakhstani agribusiness,” says A. Kerimbekov.

Meanwhile, experts explain that the member countries have different requirements for labeling and organic standards. And the adoption of common international standards, their recognition on the territory of the EAEU should ensure greater integration into the organic market.

Arsen Kerimbekov says that six meetings have already been held in a year. So far, no decision has been made. Judging by this, the director of the Union doubts that the representatives of Kazakhstan will be able to defend the interests of our organics.

“There is also a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture. But we are dissatisfied with the work. Unions were invited, no one wants to participate. It's a long, tedious job. Other participants are sitting out, they are very experienced, they will "outsit" anyone. After all, they get paid for that. Twice we didn’t manage to get together because of the covid, now we won’t even do that. But we must understand that if we sign the agreement, then outside the EAEU we will conclude transactions only through the EEC. We are not politicians. Now the Ministry of Agriculture must determine whether we need it or not,” summed up the director of the Union.