Uzbekistan - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language. Includes information on trade financing. 
 

Last published date: 2020-10-14

Overview:

In accordance with Uzbekistan’s legislation on the protection of consumer’s rights, all products sold in the country must contain the following information in the Uzbek language:


•      Name of the product;
•      Manufacturer’s name and contact information;
•      Ingredients and “best before” date (for food);
•      User’s manual (if applicable); and
•      Warnings (if applicable). 

This information must be labeled on the product at the facility where it is produced.  The government will not allow in-country labeling.

There are several Western and local advertising firms operating in Uzbekistan.  Radio commercials and out of home advertisements are also commonly used by Russian, Western, and local companies.

The main exhibition companies in Uzbekistan are ITECA Exhibitions (https://iteca.uz/eng/ite/) and International Expo Group (IEG – https://ieg.uz/en). ITECA Exhibitions holds 20 annual exhibitions featuring 14 industries and IEG organizes 12 international exhibitions annually. Most of them are held at Uzexpocentre —the largest exhibition center in Tashkent (http://www.uzexpocentre.uz).         

Television remains the most popular means of advertising, hosting 70% of advertising sales. Outdoor advertising comes next with 20-25%, followed by digital space. Sevimli TV (https://sevimlitv.uz/), Zo’r TV (https://www.zortv.uz/), and Mening Yurtim are the most popular local TV channels in Uzbekistan. Russian TV channels have a large presence, as well. The Biznes Vestnik Vostoka (BVV – “Eastern Business Review”), Presstij (“Prestige”), Argumenty i Fakty (“Arguments and Facts”) and Ekonomicheskoe Obozrenie (“Economic Review”) are the most popular economic and business journals.

The commercial service of U.S. Embassy Tashkent provides its Single Company Promotion service for U.S. companies seeking exposure in Uzbekistan.

Pricing

Exporters should consider taxes and duties in pricing their goods.  Fees and tax rates vary as to the type, quality, and quantity of imported goods.  Some goods and industries enjoy tax and customs exemptions, but most imported goods are relatively more expensive than domestically produced equivalents. Rates of import customs duties and excise taxes are set by Presidential decree. The current VAT rate is 15%.

Sales Service/Customer Support

Expectations regarding customer support and sales service in Uzbekistan have risen steadily since the country’s independence.  Many small-scale companies with insufficient financial resources cannot provide sales services at appropriate levels.  Some larger businesses have built countrywide customer support centers, and companies intending to sell equipment in Uzbekistan are advised to set up a local service office to address customer support.  Training of local technical staff in providing professional service is critical, as is maintaining an adequate supply of spare parts and supplies required for servicing customer equipment.

Local Professional Services

Principal Business Associations

There are a few different business associations in Uzbekistan, including the following:

Foreign Investors Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Prior to 2017, business associations had little influence over government decisions and policy, but the government is increasingly willing to engage with representatives of foreign companies, such as the American Chamber of Commerce, on issues facing the business community. The Foreign Investors Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was created in 2019 to serve as an advisory body and institutional platform for direct dialogue between the Government of Uzbekistan and representatives of foreign investors and IFIs. Interim sessions are scheduled to be hosted at least twice a year by the Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade. A plenary session will be held once a year under the chairmanship of the president.

Limitations on Selling U.S. Products and Services

There are no formal legal limitations on selling U.S. products and services in Uzbekistan.  Official limits on foreign ownership remain in industries with strategic implications for national security.  Lesser restrictions also apply to the media, finance, insurance, and travel industries.  Legislation requires companies to hire Uzbekistani nationals for specific positions in banking and auditing companies:  the chief accountant must be an Uzbekistani national, as must the CEO or at least one member of the Board of Directors.  Only Uzbekistani nationals can be tour guides.