The State Customs Committee’s move to lift restrictions on the taking of goods out of the country by private individuals is an insufficient step in the sphere of foreign trade liberalization, Syarhey Balykin, leader of an unregistered business association, told BelaPAN.
He acknowledged that small traders could take advantage of the easier rules.
"If this phenomenon takes big proportions, I believe that it may lead to complaints from the customs and fiscal authorities of neighboring countries. They should not forget that after bringing goods out of Belarus, they need to comply with all formalities while bringing them into another country, paying all appropriate taxes and duties," the expert stressed.
The Belarusian government should not limit its support to small traders and should do more to encourage exports by small companies, he suggested.
"Our customs procedures are fairly conflicting and confusing, while foreign currency regulations, although a bit simplified recently, still remain complex. There are difficulties regarding the refund of export VAT, in particular in trade with Russia. All these problems are most difficult for small companies that lack funds to hire customs experts," Mr. Balykin said. He called on the Belarusian authorities to streamline customs and VAT refund procedures and loosen control over foreign-currency deals worth "tens or maybe even hundreds thousand dollars."