New certification rules may boost illegal supply of household appliances to Belarus
According to the Government Resolution No 849 of October 21st, 2016, as of February 1st, 2017, Belarus will introduce a mandatory certification of all imported home appliances. Certification will be required for each consignment of imported products, even those produced in the EEU. Given the certification deadline and terms, as well as the workload at the testing facilities, it would be virtually impossible to test all appliances in a timely manner. This will lead to a sales ban on non-certified products. This measure was designed to boost sales of domestic home appliances and increase the price of those imported. Gray import schemes of home appliances are likely to emerge and retail trade turnover after certification requirements take effect is likely to reduce, so as the range of home appliances on sale. Belarusians are likely to start purchasing home appliances abroad. In addition, other countries may regard new certification rules as restrictive and introduce retaliatory measures against Belarusian goods.
President Lukashenka continues to rotate staff and rejuvenate heads of departments and universities following new appointments in regional administrations. Apparently, new Information Minister Karliukevich could somewhat relax the state policy towards the independent media and introduce technological solutions for retaining control over Belarus’ information space. New rectors could strengthen the trend for soft Belarusization in the regions and tighten the disciplinary and ideological control over the student movement in the capital.
President Lukashenka has appointed new ministers of culture and information, the new rector of the Belarusian State University and heads of three universities, assistants in the Minsk and Vitebsk regions.
The new Information Minister Karliukevich is likely to avoid controversial initiatives similar to those former Minister Ananich was famous for, however, certainly within his capacities. Nevertheless, the appointment of Belarusian-speaking writer Karliukevich could be regarded as the state’s cautious attempt to relax environment in the media field and ensure the sovereignty of national media.
The Belarusian leadership has consolidated the trend for mild Belarusization by appointing a young historian and a ‘reasonable nationalist’, Duk as the rector at the Kuleshov State University in Mogilev. Meanwhile, while choosing the head of the Belarusian State University, the president apparently had in mind the strengthening of the ideological loyalty among the teaching staff and students at the main university in order to keep the youth movement at bay. Previously, Korol was the rector of the Kupala State University in Grodno, where he held purges among the disloyal teaching staff.
The trend for the renewal of mid-ranking executives and their rejuvenation has confirmed. The age of the Culture Minister and three new rectors varies from 39 to 44 years old.