Uzbekistan - Country Commercial Guide
Selling Factors and Techniques

Identifies common practices used in selling in this market, including sales material that needs to be in the local language.

Last published date: 2021-10-10

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)
  • 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.

Trade Promotion and Advertising

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/en/index.php) and International Expo Group (IEG – https://ieg.uz/en). ITECA Exhibitions holds 18 annual exhibitions featuring 14 industries and IEG organizes 11 international exhibitions annually. Most of them are held at Uzexpocentre — the largest exhibition center in Tashkent (https://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 BiznesVestnikVostoka (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 and Tax code. 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

  • American Chamber of Commerce (https://amcham.uz/
  • American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan
  • Business Women’s Association of Uzbekistan (http://adju.uz/)
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers Uzbekistan
  • Ernst & Young Uzbekistan
  • Deloitte & Touche LLC Uzbekistan
  • KPMG Uzbekistan
  • Baker Tilly Uzbekistan
  • Association of Customs brokers (http://atb.uz/)
  • Investment Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade (https://invest.gov.uz/)
  • Business Ombudsman (https://biznesvakil.uz/en/)
  • Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade (www.mift.uz/en)

Principal Business Associations

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

  • American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan (https://amcham.uz/)
  • American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (based in Washington, D.C.) (http://aucconline.com/)
  • Association of International Road Carriers (AIRCUZ) (http://aircuz.uz/)
  • Business Women’s Association of Uzbekistan (http://adju.uz/)
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan
  • 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.