YEREVAN, February 14. / ARKA /. The chairman of an Armenian parliament committee on finance and budget affairs, Gagik Minasyan from the governing Republican Party of Armenia, said today the authorities in Yerevan were negotiating with the Russia-led Customs Union to allow Yerevan to levy the current import duties from around 1000 imported goods.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the three members of the trade bloc, levy uniform import duties from some 11,500 goods of which more than 60 percent are higher than corresponding duties set by Armenia.
Speaking at a news conference Minasyan specified that Customs Union members levy higher duties from 6,758 goods, lower import duties from 1,676 goods while import duties from another 1,962 goods are the same as in Armenia.
Minasyan admitted that the negotiations in question would be complicated as some members of the Customs Union do not support such measures. Minasyan argued that the membership of the Customs Union would raise the overall consumer price index in Armenia by only 1.5 percentage points.
Earlier, economy minister Vahram Avanesyan revealed in an interview that the government asked the trade union to allow Armenia to continue applying its existing fees to as many as 850 imported goods. He said if the union refuses to allow Armenia to use its current import duties the increased import duties in absolute numbers would make some $150 million.
On February 3 the Armenian government made public a “roadmap” to Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union. The 249-page document posted on the government’s website lists 262 administrative and legislative actions concerning 20 areas of government policy. .-