ArmInfo.From January 1, 2019, Armenia will tighten the rules for the duty-free importation of accompanied luggage of individuals. This was stated by David Ananyan, head of the State Revenue Committee of Armenia on January 10 after the meeting, referring to complaints from local agricultural producers about the uncontrolled importation of tomatoes of Turkish origin into the republic.
According to him, at present, due to objective reasons, the tax and customs authority cannot estimate the existing volumes of import of tomatoes from Turkey. As Ananyan pointed out, tax innovations implemented in the summer of 2018, according to which the allowed weight of accompanied baggage of individuals was increased to 50 kg, contributed to the smuggling of tomatoes from Turkey. " A fairly large number of tomatoes was imported into Armenia through smuggling by 50 kg lots. We don't have information on them for one simple reason - they did not go through customs clearance procedures. In many cases, 10-20 ton trucks passed through neutral zone between Georgia and Armenia, then unloaded, and people in batches of 50 kg each imported them to Armenia. And in many cases we were not able to exercise control functions, "the head of the SRC explained.
In this regard, as the chief tax officer pointed out, based on the consideration that since January 1, 2019, the EAEU rules have changed and the maximum cargo volume is set to 25 kg, and the maximum price is 500 euro, the government discussed this issue and, after appropriate estimates, will begin a tough fight with this phenomenon. "By raising the allowable duty-free luggage entry threshold, we wanted to help the public so that it could import more baggage for its domestic needs, and did not think that it would become a source of business for many," said Ananyan.
To recall, starting from September 15, 2018, individuals who are not individual entrepreneurs have the right to import into Armenia a much larger volume of goods without customs clearance. In particular, as indicated in the SRC, the current limit for products of animal origin from 3 kg was increased to 30 kg. The current limit on live trees, plants, bulbs, roots up to 5 pieces, but not more than 2 kg is raised to 15 pieces, but not more than 50 kg. The allowable threshold for importing coffee, tea and spices from the previously installed 5 kg is revised to 15 kg. As previously noted by the head of the SRC, decisions do not jeopardize the activities of small businesses. "There is no possibility of making big concessions," he said.