Several state-owned companies in Uzbekistan will lose their exclusive rights, as outlined by the presidential decree of 3 June on measures to accelerate market reforms and align national legislation with World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements.

Starting 1 January 2025, the following rights are expected to be canceled:

  • Uzmetkombinat JSC’s right to procure scrap and waste ferrous metal within Uzbekistan;
  • Uzvtortsvetmet JSC’s right to procure and export scrap and waste of non-ferrous metals within the country;
  • Uztrade JSC’s right to export food flour and wheat, as well as products from small business and private entrepreneurs, dekhkans (farmers), and farms without providing a bank guarantee or insurance policy of export contracts against political and commercial risks to trading houses on consignment terms;
  • Uzkimyoimpeks LLC’s single agent right to export chemical products of Uzkimyosanoat JSC organizations, as well as import equipment, spare parts, components, raw materials, and supplies for their production needs.

Starting 1 July 2026, UzGasTrade JSC will no longer be the sole exporter and operator for the centralized import of natural gas from external sources, and Uzenergosotish will lose the right to centrally export and import electricity.

Starting 1 January 2025, a licensing procedure will be introduced for the procurement, processing, and sale of scrap and waste of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, as well as wholesale and retail trade of natural gas and electricity.

Starting 1 January 2026, restrictions on the export of copper cathode and copper wire rod purchased at exchange trades will be removed.

The purchase price of copper cathode and copper wire rod bought through exchange trades for export will not include the established discount or deferred payment privileges for companies.

To place copper cathode and copper wire rod under the customs regime “export”, it is mandatory to provide a certificate from the Uzbekistan Republican Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange (UzEx) confirming the return of the discount applied to their purchase price at exchange trading for the volume sent for export, as well as on full payment of deferred payments.

UzGasTrade was established in June 2022 to centrally purchase and sell natural gas, and act as a single exporter. Prior to its establishment, these functions were managed by Uztransgaz. Later, other companies were granted the right to export, and imports were also handled by separate companies in previous years.

Uzenergosotish was established in October 2023.

In July 2020, the Competition Promotion and Consumer Protection Committee suggested canceling the exclusive right of Uzmetkombinat to procure ferrous scrap and waste, and Uzvtortsvetmet non-ferrous metals.

The justification noted that low purchase prices for ferrous scrap and waste deterred entrepreneurs and the population from selling scrap at the proposed prices of Uzmetkombinat. As a result, a shadow market for scrap emerged, consisting of unorganized markets and entrepreneurs buying scrap from the population at allegedly real prices, which exceeded Uzmetkombinat’s offers.

The Committee pointed out the inefficient and non-transparent procurement mechanism and scrap procurement, leading to scrap procurement volumes in the country only meeting 60−65% of Uzmetkombinat’s needs, with the remaining 40−35% of the plant being covered by imports.