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Kazakhstan: Zero VAT Rate Established for Some Goods

(Aug. 15, 2016) On July 29, 2016, Kazakhstan adopted Resolution No. 444, amending Resolution No. 1197 of September 14, 2012, and providing a list of goods for which the value-added tax rate is zero for transactions in special economic zones. The new Resolution was published in the country’s official gazette on August 4, becoming effective on August 14. (Maira Kassengaliyeva, Goods Sold in SEZ Subject to VAT Zero Rate – Amendments Published, TAX NEWS SERVICE (Aug. 9, 2016), International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation online subscription database.) The goods now listed as not subject to VAT if sold and used in a special economic zone include jewelry; vitamins and hormones; and machinery that lifts, handles, or loads, such as elevators and conveyors. (Id.)

The standard VAT rate in Kazakhstan is 12%. (2016 Worldwide VAT, GST and Sales Tax Guide: VAT, GST and Sales Tax Rates, EY.COM (last visited Aug. 9, 2016).)

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed a Law on Special Economic Zones on July 21, 2011; it had been formulated in response to a presidential address to the nation on January 29, 2010, that stressed the need for the zones in order to further economic development. By early 2012, there were nine such zones. (Yerzhan Yessimkhanov, Kazakhstan Has Adopted a New Law on Special Economic Zones, HG.COM (last visited Aug. 11, 2016); Nine Special Economic Zones Function in Kazakhstan, Consulate General of the Republic of Kazakhstan in New York website (Feb. 1, 2012).) At present there are ten Special Economic Zones in the country, some founded before the 2011 Law was adopted:

  • Astana “New City,” with emphasis on the use of advanced technologies in construction, infrastructure development, and industry;
  • Burabay, focused on tourism;
  • Chemical Park Taraz, for the development of chemical products;
  • Innovation Technologies Park, dedicated to development of technology in communications and a number of other fields;
  • Khorgos – Eastern Gates, focused on trade logistics;
  • National Industrial Petrochemical Technology Park, for petrochemistry;
  • Pavlodar, for petrochemistry;
  • Ontustik, specializing in cotton and other textiles;
  • Saryarka, for metallurgy; and
  • Seaport Aktau, for oil and gas mechanical engineering. (Special Economic Zones in Kazakhstan, KAZNEX INVEST (last visited Aug. 11, 2016).)