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Georgi Kolarov: The second Nagorno-Karabakh war is inevitable

Russian Embassy in Armenia gives a harsh response to the U.S. Embassy

Participants in Beeline's Fortune drawing campaign awarded prizes

Yerevan-Sevan-Ijevan-Azeri border highway to be open in late August

Armenian FM: Through its destructive stance Azerbaijan hinders the Nagorno-Karabakh peace progress

Up to 45% of Armenian citizens are potential emigrants

US Embassy urges Armenian businessmen to refrain from contacts with Russian companies

A leopard family in the south of Armenia gives birth to two cubs

Two Armenian soldiers die because of the Azerbaijani sabotage attack at the line of contact

Human rights activist Leyla and Arif Yunus are accused of secret collaboration with Armenian special services

Member-churches of World Council of Churches going to recognize Armenian Genocide in 2015

NKR foreign minister: Nagorno-Karabakh is where Europe begins

On Aug 2 South Caucasus Railway's commuter trains will be free of charge all over Armenia

Worker killed by a rock fall at perlite deposit in Aragatsavan

Azeris continue firing at Armenia's borderline villages

Serzh Sargsyan: OSCE Minsk Group has suggested principles that can serve as pivot for settling Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Paruyr Hayrikyan: Armenia and Ukraine have a common "frenemy" in the person of Russia

Electric Networks of Armenia is going to dispute Public Services Regulatory Commission's decision to impose a 15mln AMD fine on it

Economist: In face of economic sanctions against Russia, it is necessary to speed up the process for creating Eurasian Economic Union

Economist: The West's sanctions against Russia will affect the Armenian economy

Rostelecom launches online payment service

Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia imposes a 15mln AMD fine on Electric Networks of Armenia

Oppositionist: Interests and viewpoints of Stepanakert do not necessarily coincide with those of Yerevan

Oppositionist: Interests and viewpoints of Stepanakert do not necessarily coincide with those of Yerevan

Ashot Manuicharyan: Armenian President's function is to answer "yes, sir!" and to go do it

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan criticizes the ICRC again

Nature protection minister charges to resolve problems of several tailing dumps on Syunik region

Official stance of VTB Bank OJSC and VTB Bank (Armenia) CJSC on U.S. sanctions

RPA member: Nagorno-Karabakh Prime Minister's statement had no message to negotiators

Ashot Manucharyan: Armenia may face chaos or isolation at any moment

Armenia joins World Day against Trafficking in Persons

Lake Sevan is among top ten attractions in post-Soviet preferred by Russian people

Leyla Yunus is at Prosecutor General's Office, Arif Yunus decides to "give up"

Pre-Parliament: The overarching goal for all Armenians is the formation of a representative government in Armenia

The OSCE is ready to assist in any way possible to stop the cease-fire violations in karabakh conflict zone, Andrzej Kasprzyk says

US Department of State: Media outlets of Armenia published inaccurate articles portraying religious minorities as criminals and spies

Levon Hayrapetyan loses consciousness on Wednesday morning

Public Services Regulatory Commission decides to reduce tariffs of some services of ArmenTel CJSC

Poaching and illegal hunting tours endanger birds in Armenia

The NKR premier: The Madrid Principles are certainly unacceptable to us

Armenian Copper Programme cuts blister copper production by 13.5%

VTB Bank (Armenia) confirms its leadership in lending

EY takes employees of Armenian ancestry back to their roots

Levon Hayraptyan's health much worse

Vahagn Hovnanyan: Oligarchs have full control of Armenian economy

John Heffern believes that Nagorno-Karabakh conflict can be resolved only through peaceful talks

In Oct 2014 Armenia to join UN peacekeeping operation in Lebanon

ICRC car fired at on Armenian-Azeri border

Artashes Shaboyan: Reduction in consumer demand has a negative effect on supermarkets

Privates in Armenia no longer enjoy door-to-door courier services

  • by Arthur Yernjakyan

  • Friday, March 7, 22:10

 Armenia has no plans to reduce the limit of tax-free import of packages in the country for privates from the current 150,000 drams (nearly $360 at the current exchange rate), the Finance Ministry told ArmInfo.

The limit of tax-free import in Russia is to be reduced over six-fold to 150 EUR per package instead of the current 1000 EUR. "Even if Russia reduces this limit, we will leave it unchanged," the Ministry said.  In conformity with the Customs Code of Armenia, privates can receive tax-free packages worth up to 150,000 drams and weighting up to 20kg within at least 180 days. In line with the legislation of the Customs Union, courier packages worth $1000 and weighting 31kg delivered to privates with no limitations of the shipment period.

At first sight, the express-delivery terms in the Customs Union are more liberal. It is not clear if Russia will reduce the tax-free import limit.

Online trading is gathering pace both in Russia and Armenia, as goods in online stores are often of higher quality and even cheaper than in the local markets, even inclusive of the shipment fee. In this light, the not so developed countries that fail to stand international competition try to make restrictions and close their markets. Armenia like Russia has actually closed the door-to-door courier delivery services for privates.  DHL Express and FedEx have not been providing delivery services to privates for several years already.  This issue is under discussion now and the Russian authorities are ready to allow all the express-delivery companies to register international online purchases through facilitated procedures.  The restrictions were introduced in Nov 2012. In fact, a private is reluctant to pay at least 4,000 drams for registration of a package of documents to receive a delivery irrespective of the customs cost of the package.  The situation is absurd. For instance, if a private orders a package worth $1 via DHL Express or FedEx, he will have to pay the above fee (4,000 drams). These funds are not directed to the state budget of Armenia. 
The courier companies charge these funds to pay for customs storage of goods. If a package is left in the storage longer than 48 hours, the recipient will have to pay 6,000 drams and more depending on the period of storage. The citizens of Armenia are required to submit copies of their passports and pay for registration of documents to get a package from the express delivery service. ArmInfo's correspondent applied to the Ministry of Transport and Communication Press Service for comments, where he was recommended to address written questions, as they do not give 'live' interviews.

The customs cost of a package is estimated differently in Armenia. The limit is 150,000 drams. It was increased from the previous 50,000 drams. The point is that the Customs Service of Armenia has its own price-list (approximate tariffs) allegedly based on the local market prices. The list has nothing in common with the cost of goods in invoices. Only the customs officers are familiar with the price list. It is not published anywhere. Neither the list is shown to citizens, who never know if their packages and freights are subject to customs registration or not.

In other words, if you have purchased a used iPhone for $260 or a netbook for $300 on ebay, you will not avoid customs clearance.  In line with the approximate price list of the Customs Service, it may turn out that the phone you have ordered costs $900 in Armenia and the netbook costs $1000 and you will have to pay additional 32% of the cost. As a result, the ordered goods may turn much more expensive than they are sold in Armenia. This hits the pockets of ordinary citizens and creates additional corruption risks. The interests of the country run contrary to the interests of the citizens, as the government tries to fill the treasury and make the people buy goods only in the local market, which is also connected with their fiscal expectations.

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