According to the Black Sea Association of National News Agencies, the free trade agreement with the CIS member countries that was signed in St Petersburg in 2011 entered into force for Moldova in 2013. So far the agreement has been ratified by Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Moldova.
The new variant of the agreement on the trade zone within CIS implies the facilitation of the regional trade through the improvement of the trade relations between the signatory states, maintenance of the zero customs duties on over 10,000 groups of goods, gradual removing the fees on products with exception from the free trade regime, as well as failure of new restrictions in commerce. Due to the new agreement, the number of existent bilateral agreements on trade relations with the CIS countries is reduced. At the same time, the agreement sees mechanisms for settling the trade litigations within the WTO platform and in the limit of mechanisms and procedures accepted by the sides.
Also, the agreement sees the maintenance of the export customs duties on gas, raw material for heavy industry and wood from Russia. Exception from the free trade regime is for sugar with Ukraine.
The document sees provisions similar to the other agreements concluded by Moldova within the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), adjusted to the specifics of trade relations within the CIS, and with some improvement that will contribute to ensuring a stable framework with the CIS states via a juridical basis simplified for the trade operations, and a higher level of transparency, by including some provisions adjusted to the WTO agreements.
The head of the general department for trade policies of the Economics Ministry, Inga Ionesii, stated that “the entrance into force of the agreement will dynamize the regional trade relations, will facilitate drawing investments, as well as the exchange of technologies and innovations between the signatory states, CIS members”.