Kazakhstan is a member of the Organization of Shanghai Cooperation, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Common Economic Area and the Organization of Economic Cooperation.
Non Tariff Barriers
Today, most goods can be imported without license although each time a signed contract has to be shown to the authorities. However, an import license is necessary for any set of products: chemicals, medicines, medical equipment, oil exploration and waste equipment... Import of narcotics, arms and ammunitions is prohibited.
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports
Customs duty is variable as per the products. The customs duty is calculated on the CNF value of the goods (transactional value + packing cost + transport cost). Few products are exempted from import duty. In export, nearly all products are exempted from custom duty.
Excise duties are collected on the following products: alcoholic drinks, tobacco, oil products, private cars, jewellery, leather and fur garments, crystals, salmon and caviar. The excise duty tariff can vary from 7 to 100%.
Slightly more than half of Kazakhs live in cities, mostly in Almaty, Chimkent, Qyzylorda, Astana and Atyrau. There is a strong disparity of salaries between different regions and sectors of activity: the salaries received in finance and mines are the highest, those of employees in social services, health and education are the lowest.
Consumer Profile and Purchasing Power
Since the end of Soviet rule, there has been a growing middle-class in Kazakhstan, which is now estimated to comprise nearly a fifth of the population and holds responsibility for the majority of goods sold in the country. With a rise in real incomes, consumers are increasingly demanding quality products and brand names. Inexpensive Russian and Chinese goods flow across Kazakhstan’s borders, but Western goods and expertise are also in demand. In some cases, consumers are willing to pay more for imported goods that offer higher quality and innovation. Customer service in Kazakhstan is often unsatisfactory; however, providing customers with after-sales service could give businesses an added-value.
Potrebitel, National Consumer league of Kazakhstan
Apart from crude oil and natural gas, Kazakhstan produces minerals whose reserves are still less explored. There is a production of iron ore in Karaganda. In the siderurgy and non ferrous metallurgy sector, we find refined copper, lead, zinc, bauxite (Alumina plant in Pavlodar), uranium (15% of the world's reserves), tungsten, nickel (Uralnikel complex near Orsk city), manganese, gold, and silver. There are also coal mines in Karaganda and Ekibasturz. In addition, the country produces tractors and other agricultural machines, construction material and electric motors. Moreover, Kazakhstan is seeking to modernize and diversify away from overdependence on extractive industries and is thus trying to build a high-tech capacity.