Updated at 18:18,16-07-2018

June 27 – national sole traders strike


Sole traders are ready to collect signatures for Belarus's withdrawal from the Customs Union.

The decision to hold a national strike was taken at the Sole Traders Forum devoted to the technical regulations of the Customs Union "On safety of light industry". The Forum took place in Minsk today, charter97.org learnt from leaders of Perspective organisation Anatoly Shumchanka.

According to him, the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and the Ministry of Health Care prepared the joint document to postpone the entry into force of the Customs Union's technical regulations until July 1, 2014, but it doesn't solve the problem.

"About 150 people from all Belarusian regions took part in the forum. Unfortunately, governmental agencies and official organisations ignored the event. Only a representative of the State Committee on Standards appeared, but refused to speak and preferred to listen to the others. Representatives of the Eurasian Economic Commission from Moscow visited the forum. They said Belarus didn't have the right to cancel the entry into force of the Union's technical regulations that oblige sole traders to receive certificates on the goods they import to Belarus from Russia. Sole traders say it's almost impossible to receive certificates due to a mess in the neighbouring country.

The document that allegedly postpones the entry into force of the technical regulations doesn't solve the problem. It has many faults. Under the document, sole traders have the right not to certify the goods only if they have documents proving the goods were purchased in the Customs Union. But almost the same documents are needed to obtain certificates. Besides, the decision is not applied to about 80,000 private unitary enterprises.

The forum of sole traders took a decision to hold a one-day strike across the country on June 27. It's clear that we won't be able to work under new rules from July 1. If our demands are not heard and the decision on the entry into force of the technical regulations is not cancelled, sole traders can start to collect signatures for Belarus's withdrawal from the Customs Union,"
Anatoly Shumchanka said.