No customs duties, but some restrictions: new export rules in the EAEU
From April 1, the export of essential goods from the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union is temporarily prohibited. This decision was made on March 31 at a meeting of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (ECE). The decision will affect Armenia, which is a member of the EAEU.
Restrictions will be in effect from April 1 through June 30.
Armenia joined the EAEU, an economic union that was created at Russia’s initiative, in 2015. The international organization is designed to promote the free exchange of labor, goods, services and capital between member countries. The union also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
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Which products are restricted
“The products in question are all essential goods and food products, but as long as Armenia imports or exports them within the EAEU, the ban does not apply,” Deputy Minister of Economy Varos Simonyan said on April 6.
The decision of the Eurasian Economic Committee prohibits the export of the following products to non-EAEU member countries:
onions, garlic, turnips, rye, rice, buckwheat, millet, groats, wholemeal flour and cereal grains, buckwheat, foods made from buckwheat, crushed and uncrushed soybeans and sunflower seeds.
The restriction only applies if exporting outside the EAEU.
The purpose behind this decision is to provide sufficient supplies to member countries in case the epidemiological situation escalates.
The ban does not apply to export of products to countries outside the union as an act of humanitarian aid.
Which customs taxes are lifted?
The Eurasian Union also lifted customs duties on certain food and medicines for three months.
Items on the list include potatoes, cabbage, onions and other vegetables that Armenia does not import. Products relevant to Armenia that have had customs duties lifted include rice, medicines and baby food.
“For example, we import medicines at a rate of 3 to 6.5%, long-grain rice at 10%, baby food and juices at 10-11%. For three months, we will not have to pay customs on these products,” said the deputy minister of economy.
Buckwheat, a staple during the epidemic, was also on the list, but Armenia already imports it from Russia and Ukraine without customs duties.
As far as “anti-virus” goods, garlic, which Armenia has only imported when necessary, also had customs duties waived, dropping it from 10% to 0%.
The cost of essential goods may rise in Armenia
During the state of emergency, Armenia may experience a rise in prices, however, the situation, says Varos Simonyan, is under control, and the government is monitoring the market daily:
“The government is pursuing various alternative strategies that will suppress price increase for essential commodities wherever possible.”