In accordance with Uzbekistan’s legislation on the protection of consumer’s rights, all products (works, services) sold in the country must contain the following information:
Name of the product (work, service)Designation of regulatory documentation, the mandatory requirements with which the product (work, service) must complyList of main consumption characteristics, including specific onesPrice (tariff) and terms of purchaseDate of manufacture of certain types of goodsManufacturer’s (service provider’s) warranty obligationsRules and conditions for effective and safe useService life (shelf life) and information about the necessary actions of the consumer after this period, as well as about the possible consequences if these actions are not takenFull name and location (legal address) of the manufacturer (service provides, seller), QR code (matrix barcode) of licenses and permits, and for imported goods - the name and location (legal address) of the manufacturer and importerName of the country of origin of goodsAddresses of the manufacturer (service provider, seller) and enterprises authorized by them to accept claims from the consumer, as well as those performing repairs and maintenanceMethods and rules of storage, safety of disposalFor a product subject to mandatory technical regulation, the consumer must be provided with relevant information about its compliance with the requirements of regulatory documents in the field of technical regulationIngredients 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 64% of advertising sales. The digital space comes next with 20%, followed by outdoor advertising with 15%. Sevimli, Zo’r TV, Milliy and MY5 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. Telegram is the most used online messenger service and the most convenient communication tool in Uzbekistan.
The commercial service of U.S. Embassy Tashkent provides its Single Company Promotion service for U.S. companies seeking exposure in Uzbekistan.
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 12%.
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:
American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (based in Washington, D.C.)
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 and business associations such as the American Chamber of Commerce and American-Uzbekistan 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, Industry and Trade. A plenary session is planned to 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.