“Skullcap” ruin Belarusian business


"Тюбетейки" разоряют белорусский бизнес

In the Belarusian countryside open their shops came from Central Asia, illegal trading in Chinese goods, which is delivered through member countries of the EAEU. The expansion is very rapid and huge difference in prices and ruining Belarusian individual entrepreneurs, and state trade.

The invasion of the province

It started a few months ago, in a small Belarusian towns began to appear EN masse in the shops, which were opened by immigrants from Central Asia. All these stores spetsializiruyutsya on the trade of consumer goods, mainly clothes, less shoes.

Belarusians have nicknamed these stores (as well as themselves Asian business) “skullcaps”.

A distinctive feature of the shops of”skullcaps” — the low prices. Significantly lower than that of individual entrepreneurs at the local flea markets, not to mention the state trade, which Belarus itself is very expensive.

As a consequence, in the “Asian” shops poured the mass of buyers: the product was almost the only one that can afford a resident of the Belarusian countryside living for only $100-150 per month.

“These stores are located in small towns, because there are no large shopping centers with non-food items. Only in small markets where entrepreneurs have 20-30 square meters — said, “Газете.Ru” Director of the analytical centre of the Republican Confederation of entrepreneurship of Belarus Anatoly Zmitrovich. — The prices are such that the Belarusians can’t be competitive”.

According to the Belarusian businessmen,”skullcap” are working without proper documents, often without cash registers and clearance of wage labor. All implemented clothing is of very poor quality, no tags on the goods (or they are altered), the price tags do not identify the country of origin and composition, typically no supporting documents, certificates.

“There are no miracles. The difference in 150-300% between the price of the same goods from Belarusian individual entrepreneurs, and immigrants from Central Asia is impossible under equal conditions. These guys are from Central Asia, seems to use some kind of “black” schemes, which allow them to move away from cost — commented, “Газете.Ru” the leader of the public organization “Perspective” Anatoly Shumchanka. — Simply put, these guys operate on the principle of the Cherkizovsky market: brought — sold — money in my pocket. And according to the rules, to bring the goods to Belarus, you need to pay 20% VAT, to issue certificates, to provide a tag marking on the product to match with invoices, by the terminal, to issue the wage-sellers… In our opinion, the Asian traders avoid all this”.

But buyers are happy — they can afford what they could offer local entrepreneurs who themselves are bought at wholesale markets in Moscow.

“They work with cash registers, but 90% of the real revenue is by cash. Entrepreneurs checked how many buyers there is one cashier and how many breaks checks — says Zmitrovich. — So, the checks almost didn’t make it. We wrote a statement to the tax and to check the registration of cash registers. But these stores are registered elsewhere (for example, work in the Gomel region, and registered in Minsk), and on the district cannot verify that these are cash on the account. But terminals to accept credit cards they do not. Although all Belarusian entrepreneurs are forced to use them — and punished for their absence.”

Today, the stores are”skullcaps” are already present in Belarusian regional centers 110 of the 118. At the same trading platforms they have — usually they get them from government agencies. For example, the merchants clothes may be located in the lobby of the clinic — the first of the kind in Belarus, it was hard to imagine.

From China without documents

According to the Belarusian business unions, most likely, the goods produced in China enters the country through one of the member States of the EEU under the guise of goods for internal use, without further distribution on the territory of the Eurasian Union.

“If the goods comes from China, through customs territory of the EAEU, then he must pass customs clearance. There are tariff and non-tariff regulations that apply, plus customs warehouse, you cannot pick up the goods without presenting to customs of a certificate (or Declaration of compliance), — explains Anatoly Zmitrovich. But once they can’t present a certificate, it means that the product comes with no certification, no registration”.

To obtain any comment from the managers of the stores are”skullcaps” does not work — at the sight of a journalist, they instantly “forget” the Russian language. And hired the Belarusian sellers from the questions running in the back.

In turn, the Ministry of trade of Belarus on the issues “Газеты.Ru” could answer only one thing: “Now we understand the situation, while it definitely can not say”.

With the help of local authorities

According to businessmen, the unexpected trading activity of Asians in the Belarusian countryside would have been impossible without the direct and explicit support from local authorities. “Local authorities claim that nothing can be done, because a moratorium on inspections of new firms and entrepreneurs. While a year ago they are the same for the lack of labeling for 40 million penalty was given,” — says Anatoly Shumchanka.

Local entrepreneurs are confident that not without bribes. “In the province all salaries are small. So if these new traders $50 will give someone from the Department of trade, the Board — so they will by hook or by crook to defend,” said one of the Belarusian sellers at the flea market in Maladzechna.

What is happening now possible including the fact that the Belarusian government over the last few years has made many efforts to minimize the number trading in the commodity markets. The Belarusian President, previously called businessmen “lousy fleas” and “these crooks”, issued a series of decrees (having the force of law) which has radically complicated the life of PI. For example, the need to have the original certificates even for the smallest batch of several pieces of goods, to pay 20% import VAT, regardless of the trading results.


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