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Import regulations and customs duties  - Distribution - Transportation of goods - Standards - Patents and brands

Import regulations and customs duties

Armenia is a member of WTO. There is no quota for imports from other WTO member countries.
Most imports are free of licensing requirements. However, there are restrictions only for health, security, or environmental reasons. Medicines must be authorized by the Ministry of Health and agricultural chemicals by the Ministry of Agriculture.
In the event of compliants against the Customs Authorities the importer may appeal to the superior Customs authority or to the courts.
For more details on customs regulations, visit Armenian Customs Service .


Customs duties
Customs duties are mandatory payments regulated by the country's Customs Code.
A uniform rate of 10% applies to majority of the imports (all exports from Armenia are duty free). Tariffs are in ad valorem terms and levied on C.I.F. values. Some essential goods like foodstuffs, raw materials and fuels are exempted from customs duties.
Also, according to the Customs Code no duties are levied on goods in the following categories:
a) Transit shipments;
b) Importation into a customs warehouse;
c) Importation into a customs free warehouse;
d) Importation into a duty free shop;
e) Temporary importation for inward processing;
f) Temporary importation.


Import taxes
There are two major import taxes imposed in Armenia:
a) Customs Fees: It is a compulsory fees charged for carrying out the customs formalities on import of goods into Armenia. The amount to be charged and the procedure is regulated by the Customs Code.
b) Excise Tax : It is charged on the import of spirits, beer, wine, tabacoo substitutes, crude oil, and carbohydrate gases (except natural gas). The tax is calculated on the basis of the quantity (volume), according to the rates mentioned in the Customs Code.

However, the following categories are exempt from excise tax:
1. goods imported into and further exported from the RA;
2. goods which are imported by citizens in amounts that do not exceed the limits specified by the law on excise tax, etc.


Regulations governing payments
There is practically no exchange controls and no reporting requirements for transfer of funds into and out of the Republic of Romania. However, there exists a law on 'Currency Regulations & Exchange Control' in the country. This law establishes the basic principles of conduction of currency transactions in the Republic of Armenia, the authorities of bodies of exchange control, the rights and obligations of legal and physical entities in the field of ownership, use and disposal of currency values, the responsibilities for the breach of currency legislation. Some of the features of this law are:
1. The Central Bank of Armenia is the main body of currency control in the country. It authorizes banks as agents for foreign currency transactions.
2. The residents have the right to hold foreign currency accounts in authorized banks.
3. Non-residents have the right to have the accounts in foreign currency and the loacl currency in authorized banks.
4. The Central Bank of Armenia with the purpose of regulation of internal currency market in the country may define:
a) the limit of difference between selling and buying exahange-rates of foreign currencies
b) a fixed rate of exchange of the local currency with respect to a foreign currency.
5. Residents and non-residents conducting foreign currency transactions in the country, as well as non-residents conducting the transactions in the local currency (currency of the Armenia) and in the securities expressed in the local currency are obliged to present to the organs of currency control and agents all requested documents and information about the execution of currency transactions.


Transportation of goods

By road
Armenia has a relatively well-developed road network, serving all areas of its economy with 257.6 kilometers of roads per 1,000 square kilometers. Most of freight and passenger transport is made by road. The road network is 7,700 kilometers long with 1,400 km of interstate roads, 2,520 km of regional roads and 3,780 km of local roads. Interstate and regional roads are administered and managed by 'SSCC Armenia Roads', a Government entity. Thanks to technical assistance received in the past, SSCC Armenia Roads is now competent to contract out most of its civil works, including engineering design and contract supervision.
Financing of road maintenance and rehabilitation remains limited. Indeed, Armenia has no Road Fund, and the allocation from the State has reduced dramatically after the independence. There is a need to plan a sound program for financing road maintenance in the future. Local roads which provide access from villages to markets are in poor condition in several areas of the country and will require improvement if living standards and conditions in the rural areas are to improve.
Buses and minivans offer the most reliable form of transportation. There is a small metro system in Yerevan, but it is quite limited and not very reliable. Also, trolley buses still run in Yerevan but remain very unreliable due to lack of maintenance and sporadic disruptions in electricity supply. Tickets are subsidized by the municipality and therefore the cost recovery income is very low.

By rail
The total length of the railway network in Armenia is 839 Kms, almost all being broad-guage & electrified. But the rail transport system in the country is slow and unreliable. “Armenian Railways” (AR) is the public railway transport company. However, it is in urgent need of investments including replacement of the majority of its rolling stock, rehabilitation of the main line between Yerevan and the Georgian border, renewal of its overhead power systems, and reconstruction of damaged bridges. AR also copes with a significant loss-making passenger service and a weak capacity to adequately plan maintenance needs for stations and number of facilities, including depots and workshops.
Consequently, railway traffic in Armenia remains low compared to European countries with similar network.The operating environment for the railways has deteriorated dramatically since the Soviet Union’s collapse: between 1989 and 1999, AR lost about 93 percent in its traffic volume. However, after the recent reforms which permitted to set cost-based tariffs, renew obsolete assets, and reduce staff, AR’s financial situation has improved and positive net profit has been recorded for the past few years.
In addition, a supervisory board has been established in 2005, even though it remains an entity under the control of the state.

By sea
Armenia is a landlocked country.

By air
Civil aviation infrastructure consists of 3 international airports, Zvartnots (Yerevan), Erebuni, and Gyumri, and 9 local (non-military) airports, although most domestic airports are not functioning. Air services suffer from inadequate physical infrastructure and air terminals lack of modern conveniences to attract international business travelers and tourists.
However, aviation is allegedly one of the Armenian government's priority areas for development. Modernization, including replacement of practically all airport equipment, and purchase or lease of passenger aircrafts is needed. In 2002 Armenia's government and an Argentine company, Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000, signed a contract on a 30-year concession of Zvartnots airport. The national carrier, Armavia has been privatized and granted monopolistic rights till 2013. The Armenian aviation market is emerging slowly.
Number of international carriers operates flights from and to Zvartnots airport and the passenger traffic is steadily growing (at an average annual rate of 20%).


There is a legislation in Armenia which deals issues realted to 'Standardization and Uniformity' in the country. The main objectives of the legislation are :
1. elimination of production related technical barriers in foreign and domestic markets, as well as creation of a favorable environment for participation in international (economic, scientific, technical, trade) cooperations and agreements.
2. to ensure safety of human life and health, physical and legal entities, and state property, life & health of animals and plants, and environment including flora and fauna;
3. to ensure technical and informational compatibility, interchangeability of production;
4. to improve the quality of products and services;
5. to establish consumer confidence in production and services, and prevention of the factors which lead to misunderstanding;
6. to ensure that the national production becomes internationally competitive.

In the year 2002, the Government of Armenia reorganised the Department of Standardization, Metrology and Certification. It was put it under the Ministry of Trade and Economic Development and seperated into following divisions:
- Department of the Standardization, Metrology and Conformity Assessment as a subdivision of the Ministry;
- Quality Inspectorate of the Republic of Armenia as a separate subdivision of the Ministry;
- Accreditation Agency of the Republic of Armenia as a separate subdivision of the Ministry;
- National Institute of Metrology and National Institute of Standards.

Patents and brands

The authority protecting the intellectual rights in Armenia is called Intellectual Property Agency . It was established in March 2002 and works under the 'Ministry of Trade and Economic Development'.
The main functions of the Intellectual Property Agency are:
1. Receiving and examination of applications on subject matters of industrial property and integral microcircuit topologies;
2. Granting of patents and certificates and maintenance of state registers for the above subject matters in the prescribed order;
3. Examination of oppositions and claims against granting of patents or certificates concerning the decisions on the results of examinations of applications on industrial property subject matters and integral microcircuit topologies;
4. Publication of information on industrial property subject matters and integral microcircuit topologies under legal protection;
5. Registration of license agreements on use of industrial property subject matters and integral microcircuit topologies, as well as registration of open licenses;
6. Qualification of patent attorneys.

Texts currently applying to patents/brands

  Text Date entered into law Period of validity Comment
Patents Law on Patents (Industrial Property Legislation) 26th October, 1999. Patent for an invention: 20 years, when the patent was granted on a basis of a substantive examination (principal patent), or for 10 years, when it was granted without carrying out of a substantive examination of an invention ( preliminary patent);
Patent for industrial design: 15 years;
Patent for a utility model : 10 years.
A patent owner may assign his patent to any natural or legal person. The patent assignment contract must be registered with the patents office. A contract that has not been registered shall be deemed invalid.
Trademarks and Servicemarks Law on Trademarks and Service Marks, Designation of Places of Origin 20th March, 2000 10 years, which could be further expended for multiple periods of ten years. Based on the licensing agreement, the owner of the trademark & servicemarks (licensor) may grant another person (licensee) a permission to use the trademark.
Appellation of Origin Law on Trademarks and Service Marks, Designation of Places of Origin 20th March, 2000 10 years, which could be further expended for multiple periods of ten years. If the International Treaties of the Republic of Armenia define norms other than those stipulated by this Law, than the norms of the International Treaties shall be applied.
Copyright Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights Adopted by the National Assembly on 15th June, 2006 The author’s economic rights shall run for the whole life of the author and for 50 years after his death, calculated from January 1 of the year following the year of the author's death. The economic rights of the author holding copyright could be transferred by inheritance.
Protection of Layout-design of Integrated Circuits Law on the legal protection of topographies of integrated circuits. 3rd March, 1998 The exclusive right to use a topography shall be valid for 10 years. Where an identical original topography, independently created by a different inventor, exists, the general period of validity of the exclusive right to use the topography may not exceed 10 years.


Last modified in mai-07
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