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Is Armenia’s customs system hindering online commerce?

Is Armenia’s customs system hindering online commerce?December 10, 2011 | 13:42

DILIJAN. – The development of online commerce is an important tool for raising business productivity in Armenia, Economy Minister’s advisor Vahe Danielyan stated during Saturday’s informal meeting of information and communications technology leaders, in Dilijan city.   

In his words, online commerce has three main types of problems: customs, tax, and calculation of payment. In the customs system, the customs brokerage service fees could be considered the hindrance. There is also a problem concerning the qualification of the brokerage firm. Danielyan also sees a necessity to review the customs duties. Another problem has come about when, in the case of online commerce, only one or two companies’ channels are connected to the State Revenue Committee (SRC) Processing Center, and, consequently, a monopoly emerges.        

In his turn, SRC representative Rafayel Grigoryan objected to the proposal for the qualification of customs brokers, saying this problem is blown out of proportion. In his view, this matter must be completely removed from the agenda, and that the hindrances to online commerce are on another level altogether.   

And chairman Hovhannes Avoyan of the Association of Information Technology Enterprises noted that the tax and customs hindrances do not play a substantial role at present, but that online commerce could grow, in the coming years, and when that happens, the facilitation of customs procedures would become an urgent matter.


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