Armenia Acceded to the CIS Free Trade Zone

On 11 September 2012, Armenia's parliament ratified the agreement on the establishment of a CIS free trade zone. Thus, Armenia has become the fourth CIS member state after Russia, Belarus and Ukraine to ratify that document.

Along with a number of provisions that are typical for such agreements, including those cancelling import and export duties, the agreement binds the parties thereto to non-discriminately apply non-tariff regulations, to guarantee the equality of aliens, and to follow clearly formulated subsidizing rules, which are compliant with the international practice. The agreement is to replace more than a hundred bilateral documents regulating the free trade regime across the Commonwealth's territory.

At the same time, Armenia is planning to round up the negotiations with the European Union concerning the agreement on the EU-Armenia Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) in November-December 2013. On 29 February 2012, the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade unanimously decided to start negotiations with Armenia on the agreement on the EU-Armenia Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area.

According to the data published by the National Statistics Service of the Republic of Armenia1, Armenia's external trade turnover in the first half-year of 2012 rose on the same period of 2011 by 8.3% and amounted to $ 2.7m. The volume of exports was $ 684.4m, and that of imports - $ 2,017.7m.

Trade with CIS countries took up 28.3% of Armenia's total external trade turnover (against 27.2% in the period of January through June 2011), or $ 766m (growth by 12.7%).

Over a number of recent years, the Russian Federation has been Armenia's major partner in trade. In the first half-year of 2012, the RF accounted for 22.6% of Armenia's total external trade turnover.

Over the first half-year of 2012, the turnover of Armenia's trade with Russia increased by 23.4% on the same period of 2011, thus amounting to $ 612.7m. The volume of exports from Armenia to Russia rose to $ 120.6m (or to 17.6% of Armenia's total exports), having increased by 54.5% on the same index for 2011.

The volume of Russian commodities imported to Armenia over the period of January through June 2012 increased by 14.5% - to $ 375m. The total volume of imports from RF territory was $ 492.1m (growth by 17.6%), or 24.4% of Armenia's total imports.

It should also be noted that Armenia has been a member of the WTO since 2003. Armenia's economic and trade laws fully comply with the norms and principles established by the WTO. The country maintains a liberal foreign trade regime (two simple tariff rates on imports (0% and 10%), duty-free exports, and no trade quotas. Imports or exports are licensed only when this measure becomes desirable from the point of view of safeguarding proper levels of health care, security and environment protection. There are no restrictions on import of foreign currencies.


N. P. Volovik - Head of the Foreign Trade Department