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Businessmen and officials discuss issues of labeling shoes and medicines

12 April 2019
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The business community and government agencies discussed the implementation of a pilot project for the labeling of shoe products and medicines in the framework of the Project Office at the Atameken National Chamber of Entrepreneurs of Kazakhstan.

The Agreement on the labeling of goods by means of identification in the Eurasian Economic Union entered into force on March 29, 2019. Kazakhstan in this matter has a less active position than its main trading partner in the EEU - Russia, where this work is underway for more than 3 years.

During the meeting, chairman of the Committee for Technical Regulation and Metrology of the MIID RK Arman Shakkaliyev informed that the MIID RK transferred the powers of the coordinating agency on labeling and traceability of goods in the republic. He told that the Committee developed the Roadmap for conducting pilot projects on labeling and traceability and spoke about plans for pilot shoe labeling project by the EEU member states.

Key issues of labeling implementation were also identified, including those related to import, cross-border movement, retail trade, infrastructure, financial model of the project, mutual recognition of brands of the EEU countries, etc.

“Regarding medicine labeling, the authorized agency will be the Ministry of Health, excise goods – the Ministry of Finance, processed food products - the Ministry of Agriculture, and industrial products - the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructure and Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” Arman Shakkaliyev said.

Deputy chairman of the Board of the Atameken NCE RK Yevgeniy Bolgert emphasized that one of the key issues are financial costs that the business must incur when introducing mandatory labeling of goods. Pilot projects have been proposed to be carried out without costs from the participating manufacturers.

“It is extremely important to determine what goals we set and what results we expect from labeling. There are enough tools except labeling to solve fiscal problems and issues of customs administration today. A qualitative analysis is needed, based on the results of a pilot project, which will make it possible to decide whether to introduce mandatory labeling. The introduction of unilateral labeling in the EEU countries should not become a barrier in mutual trade,” Yevgeniy Bolgert said.

The light industry sector has a very high proportion of counterfeit and smuggling products, and the main goal should be to combat the shadow economy and gray imports, president of the Association of Light Industry Enterprises of Kazakhstan Lyubov Khudova said

“I believe that there is no need at this stage to label products for the state defense order. A conscientious business is ready to participate in the pilot, but today there is no specifics, and there are no clear business processes for a pilot project of labeling shoes,” Lyubov Khudova said.

As part of the discussion on medicine labeling, a representative of the National center for expertise of drugs announced that the pilot project was planned to be carried out in two stages. At the first stage, the importers, who currently have the DataMatrix labeling system, will take part in the project, and at the second stage the domestic manufacturers will join it. The  National center for expertise of drugs also announced that the labeling will be carried out on the basis of the international standards GS1.

President of FarmMedIndustry of Kazakhstan Ruslan Sultanov noted that the cryptographic protection used in the Russian Federation for drug labeling should be excluded in Kazakhstan, because this may limit imports from the third countries. It is necessary to envisage financial support measures from the state, since the minimum cost of labeling for a small enterprise with three lines of drug production will be 500 thousand euros or more.

Following the meeting, it was decided to jointly work out the proposed Roadmap for labeling, prepare proposals for specific state support tools for the introduction of labeling, and further systematic joint work in the format of the project office for labeling at the National Chamber.

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