Under the Agreement between the Governments of the Member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States on Coordinated Principles of Taxation Policy of 13 March 1992, the parties undertook to pursue a harmonised tax policy based on the unification of tax principles and rules, including those relating to indirect taxation.
Within the CIS, the Agreement on the principles of levying indirect taxes on exports and imports of goods (works, services) between the CIS Member States of 25 November 1998 and the Protocol of 2 April 1999 on amendments and additions to the Agreement on a free trade area of 15 April 1994 were signed.
The Republic of Belarus is a party to these international legal acts, which establish the country of destination principle for levying indirect taxes (value added tax and excise duties) in the mutual trade of the CIS member states.
The transition to the collection of value added tax and excise duties based on the country of destination principle in trade with the Russian Federation was implemented by the Republic of Belarus on 1 January 2005 in accordance with the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Belarus and the Government of the Russian Federation on the principles of collection of indirect taxes on export and import of goods, performance of works, provision of services.
Within the framework of the ongoing unification of tax legislation by analogy with other CIS Member States, since 1 January 2000 the Republic of Belarus has switched to the method of offsetting the collection of value added tax on goods, works (services), according to which taxpayers must be credited (reimbursed) the amounts of taxes paid to suppliers at the time of purchase or import into the customs territory of the necessary material and technical resources.
The basic VAT rate is set at 18%, while certain children's goods and foodstuffs are subject to a reduced rate of 10%. The export of goods is taxed at 0%.
When goods are imported into the customs territory of the Republic of Belarus, the tax is calculated on the basis of their customs value plus customs duties and excise duties (for excisable goods), when the goods are sold - on the basis of the value of the goods sold.
The excise duty is applied in Belarus to a limited range of products in accordance with the Basic List and minimum rates for excisable products produced and imported into the customs territories of the Eurasian Economic Community Member States, approved by the Eurasian Economic Community Interstate Council Decision No 193 of 21 September 2004 “On the implementation of the Eurasian Economic Community Interstate Council Decision No 28 of 14 September 2001 "On the further harmonisation of the excise policy of the Member States”. Thus, the list of excisable products includes alcoholic beverages, beer, tobacco products, cars, motor gasoline and diesel fuel.