Certification reprieve for market vendors cut short


Deputy Prime Minister Pyotr Prakapovich has ordered the Customs Union's stringent certification rules for imported clothing and footwear introduced as early as December 1, small business activist Anatol Shumchanka told BelaPAN.

The leader of a small business association called Perspektyva said that he had discussed the matter with Mr. Prakapovich, Tax Minister Uladzimir Paluyan, Trade Minister Valyantsin Chakanaw and a number of other high-ranking officials on November 15.

According to the activist, Mr. Prakapovich ordered the certification rules introduced for market vendors prematurely "proceeding from the interests of consumers." "He said that he was for a civilized market, that he was not satisfied with high prices and the absence of wholesale companies," said Mr. Shumchanka. The deputy prime minister reportedly expressed anger that the overwhelming majority of market vendors had no accompanying documents for their goods.

The rules, which prohibit the sale of clothes and footwear without a special label confirming their compliance with the Customs Union's safety standards, sparked a fierce outcry from Belarusian market vendors, who insisted that the certification procedure would be too costly. Their walkouts and protests eventually forced the Belarusian government to promise that the introduction of the rules would be postponed by one year, until July 1, 2014.