It is already two years Armenia has been member of the Eurasian Economic Union. It means that since 2015, the customs policy of our country has been decided in the Eurasian Economic Commission in Moscow, rather than in Yerevan.
As a result, customs clearance rates for about 14% of commodity types have been reduced. The rates for about 55% of commodity types have already increased, and during the coming years rates of additional 5% of commodity types will also increase. Moreover, according to the Government, customs clearance rates for these commodity types are the most important for Armenia.
Thus, during the coming years, the price for meat imported to Armenia from non-EAEU member countries will increase by 40 to 80 percent. The price for rice will increase by 20 percent. There will be a 5-8% price increase in imported baby food, vegetable oils, margarine, washing powder, soap, detergents and shampoos, medicines, fertilizers and seeds.
Currently, net customs duty for vehicles in Armenia is 10%. However, starting from the year 2020, the EAEU customs duties for vehicles will enter into force, which start from 25%. And in some cases, the customs duty is calculated according to engine displacement, and can form up to 200% of the price of the car. As a matter of example, currently, we pay 42% of the price of the 10-15-year old car imported from non-EAEU countries as a customs duty. In 2020, the customs duty may form twice the price of the car.
The prices for buses imported from China, Ukraine and South Korea will also increase significantly. As a consequence, the local passenger transportation companies will be forced to go back to using the Russian “Gazels”, the price for which will not increase.
Nevertheless, the direct problems the citizens face related to the Eurasian Economic Union are not limited to customs tariffs only.
Currently, citizens arriving in Armenia on land route can cross the border with 50kg and 1500 EUR worth personal use items without customs clearance. But it will be reduced year by year, and starting from 2021, only 25kg and 500 EUR worth personal use items will be allowed to enter the country without customs clearance. It means that during 3.5 years, the permissible weight will drop two times, and the value three times. Nevertheless, it will not refer to those who arrive by plane.
It turns out that Armenians who enter the country from Georgia will not be able to carry good quality personal use bicycle, camera or laptop without paying the customs duty.
By the decision of the Eurasian Economic Commission, the maximum amount of postal items received by the citizens within a month without any customs clearance has also been reduced. Currently, one can monthly receive up to 1000 EUR worth postal items or online purchased goods without customs clearance. In two years, the permissible amount will form 200 EUR only. Moreover, the maximum amount for one not cleared postal item can also be reduced (currently, it forms 200 EUR).
Thus, membership in the Eurasian Economic Union creates additional customs burden and problems for Armenians. And these problems are due to increase in scale every coming year.
“Union of Informed Citizens”