ArmInfo.The Ministry of Economy proposes not to apply the law "On non-cash transactions" to retail trade carried out in duty-free shops, which will allow tourists visiting Armenia to make cash payments without restrictions. It is proposed to provide in the Law "On currency regulation and currency control" the possibility of posting information about the price of goods in foreign currency. The document was posted on the single portal of legal acts e-draft.am from May 30 to June 14.
The authors of the bill recalled that the law "On non-cash transactions" came into force on July 1, 2022, which obliges transactions in the amount of more than 300,000 drams to be carried out in a non-cash way. After analyzing the information received from duty-free shops operating at Zvartnots and Shirak international airports, comparing the number of transactions exceeding AMD 300,000 in 2019, 2021 with the 2nd half of 2022, and comparing the data with passenger traffic the same period, the economic authorities came to the conclusion that after the Law on Non-Cash Transactions came into force, the number of transactions exceeding AMD 300,000 in the 2nd half of 2022 decreased by 25. 4% compared to the 2nd half of 2019, and 22.6% compared to the same period in 2021. And this is with a significant increase in the tourist flow.
"As a result, it turns out that the law "On non-cash transactions" had a negative impact on entrepreneurs in this area, which led to a decline in sales volumes," the Ministry of Economy noted.
In addition, tourists entering Armenia also faced difficulties caused by the requirements for cashless payments. According to data received from duty-free shops operating at Zvartnots and Shirak international airports, during the year preceding the entry into force of the abovementioned law, the volume of retail trade reached about 300 million drams, of which 3.5% alone fell to non-cash transactions, the remaining 96.5% to cash transactions. At the same time, in 80% of cases, cash register receipts for amounts over AMD 300,000 were issued for the purchase of Armenian-made products, most of which were alcoholic beverages.
<After the entry into force of the law, sales volumes of duty-free shops decreased significantly. The problem also lies in the fact that people entering and leaving the RA, not having bank cards with them or not having enough funds on them, are forced to abandon purchases >, the authors of the initiative noted.
Another obstacle to the development of duty-free trade is the mandatory requirement to place information on the price of goods exclusively in Armenian drams, which causes significant difficulties for a foreigner in determining the cost of goods. <Therefore, it will be justified if the prices for goods in duty-free shops are also placed in foreign currency (US dollars, euros)>, the RA Ministry of Economy concluded.