Armenian lawmakers have allowed owners of already purchased right-hand drive vehicles to import them to Armenia within the next several weeks.
A relevant amendment to the law banning the import of such cars was passed unanimously in the first reading on Wednesday. It will be in effect until May 1 and will apply to about a thousand right-hand drive cars purchased until December 30, 2018 and waiting to be cleared through customs.
The move comes as a concession to a large number of importers who claimed to have been misguided on the application of the April 2018 ban that they say they thought was supposed to be a temporary one.
Like most countries of the world Armenia uses right-hand traffic which requires steering wheels to be on the left side of vehicles. Nevertheless, Armenian authorities have not prevented imports of a growing number of right-hand drive cars over the past decade.
According to the Armenian traffic police, there are presently 32,000 such cars in the country. Most of them are cheap second-hand vehicles manufactured in Japan. Police officials say they cause a disproportionately large share of traffic accidents.
Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technologies Hakob Arshakian made it clear in parliament today that this is the last concession of the government concerning the ban on the import of right-hand drive cars and such cars purchased after December 30, 2018 will not be allowed for import.
As for the right-hand drive cars already in use, the minister said that there will be no obstacles in terms of their continued use.