News ID: 251511
Published: 0221 GMT April 16, 2019

Armenia, Iran sign MoU on customs cooperation

Armenia, Iran sign MoU on customs cooperation

Armenia and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on customs cooperation.

Under the document, the customs services of the two countries will exchange information on the value of goods and vehicles transported through the shared border, armradio.am reported on Tuesday.

The MoU was signed during the visit of the President of the Armenian Revenue Committee David Ananyan to Iran on Monday.

The cooperation will be enabled to effectively organize customs control over goods crossing the border.

The exchange of information will make it easier to reveal the violations of customs rules and solve existing problems more efficiently.

Iran’s commercial attaché to Yerevan said in February that trade between Iran and neighboring Armenia hit $364 million in 2018—a record high since Armenia became independent after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.

“Iran’s exports to Armenia accounted for $269 million of the total sum. Our main exports included natural gas, petrochemicals, iron and steel, tar, tiles and ceramics, fruits and nuts,” Mohsen Rahimi was quoted as saying by IRNA.

Armenia inaugurated a free economic zone in its southernmost city of Meghri along the Iranian border in December 2017.

“The creation of a free economic zone in Meghri is important as it is situated on the Iranian border, which will serve as an additional impetus for the intensification of trade-economic relations between the two countries, thus reinforcing the existing cooperation,” Armenia’s former premier Karen Karapetyan was quoted as saying at the inauguration ceremony.

The zone will embrace a wide framework of spheres, including agriculture, manufacturing industry, trade, cargo shipment and storage economy and tourism, among others.

Given its geographical position, commercial and logistical capabilities, as well as Armenia’s multisector preferential trade regimes, the free zone can become a bridge linking Iran, the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. It is also expected to strengthen economic ties with Iran.

Companies operating in the Meghri Free Economic Zone will be exempt from a profit tax, value-added tax, excise tax and customs fees, as they only pay income tax.

Armenian officials expect the zone to attract 50-70 companies in the coming years, investing $100-130 million and creating more than 1,500 jobs.

“The launch of the Meghri Free Economic Zone will contribute to increasing the trade turnover volumes between Armenia and Iran, exchanging experience with Iranian free economic zones,” said Iran’s Ambassador to Armenia Kazem Sajjadi, who also attended the inauguration ceremony.

Armenia has expressed readiness to help strengthen commercial ties between Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in February that Armenia is the only EEU member state that has a land border with Iran.

“The presence of a common border and the formation of a free trade zone with Iran is an additional impetus for the development of commercial and economic ties,” he said.

 

   
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