Sector Policy Convergences in Trade and Customs Areas in Azerbaijan to support EU EaP Initiative

Sector Policy Convergences in Trade and Customs Areas in Azerbaijan to support EU EaP Initiative

The overall goal of this paper is to understand how Azerbaijan can converge its Trade and Customs Policy with the European Union to meet the economic integration goals set in the EU Eastern Partnership Initiative in Azerbaijan. More specifically, the paper is interested in harmonizing standardization, Technical Barriers to Trade, and customs legislation with the European Union. This goal is met by developing the following:

• Policy landscape map in standardization, TBT and customs in EU and Azerbaijan
• Analysis of facilitation of and assistance in the accession of Azerbaijan to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and promotion of overall European integration in the context of the subject areas
• Policy gap analysis and regulatory needs assessment for sector policy convergences in the above areas
• Relevant policy recommendations

It is found that current Customs and Standardization Codes are not in line with EU standards. With foreign assistance from the UNDP and co-financing by the European Commission, Azerbaijan has developed a modern draft Customs legislation that meets EU and international standards. However, it has not been adopted by Parliament and needs executive approval. As far as standardization, Azerbaijan is currently in negotiations to accede to the World Trade Organization. This is reliant on complying with the TBT Agreement, which ensures that standards do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade.

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