Customs authorities in Kazakhstan are testing a new customs clearance solution for e-commerce

From June 20, 2023, to December 31, 2024, Kazakhstan’s customs authorities are embarking on an initiative to test a fresh approach to handling customs clearance for E-commerce merchandise. This endeavor is governed by the recently introduced Chapter 45-1 of Kazakhstan’s Customs Code.

As part of this trial, E-commerce products can be brought into the country via a customs warehouse. These items will be securely stored under customs supervision, and crucially, no value-added tax (VAT), excise taxes, or customs duties will be levied until they are purchased by consumers.

This initiative involves the collaboration of various stakeholders, including government bodies, permanent and temporary residents of Kazakhstan who engage in E-commerce transactions, and electronic commerce operators.

An entity operating within Kazakhstan’s customs framework can also function as an electronic commerce operator, provided they meet the criteria set by customs authorities for participation in this trial. Participation eligibility hinges on submitting an application and meeting the following prerequisites:

  1. The availability of designated storage facilities or open spaces for temporarily housing E-commerce merchandise.
  2. Access to an information system or authorized entry to the customs authorities’ information system for electronic declaration of E-commerce goods.
  3. A minimum of one year’s experience as a customs representative, starting from the date of application to join this initiative.

The responsibilities of electronic commerce operators within this program encompass:

  1. Furnishing customs authorities with data from foreign electronic trading platforms regarding imported goods destined for individual recipients in Kazakhstan.
  2. Handling customs declarations for E-commerce products.
  3. Calculating and remitting customs duties and taxes.
  4. Managing customs processes related to E-commerce merchandise.

Anticipated outcomes of this approach include streamlining customs declaration procedures for goods purchased by individuals via foreign electronic trading platforms and expediting the delivery of these products to consumers.

Upon the conclusion of this experiment, the Ministry of Finance will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to assess its effectiveness and determine the potential need for adjustments to customs legislation. This initiative aims to enhance the E-commerce landscape in Kazakhstan while ensuring a seamless customs experience for online shoppers.

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