The Armenian government has approved a project to move the customs house for vehicles from Yerevan to Gyumri. The executive on Thursday also allocated an equivalent of about $380,000 for the purpose.
The plans for relocating the facility were first discussed in April after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian visited the customs house just outside the Armenian capital where car importers currently clear their vehicles through customs.
David Ananian, head of the State Revenue Committee (SRC), said that a decision had been made not just move the function to Gyumri, but to build a new center in the second largest Armenian city that will facilitate external economic activities. “We had presented a more comprehensive proposal to build a service center for foreign economic activities in Gyumri, which will also provide full services for customs clearance of vehicle,” he said.
Ananian said that the urgency of the relocation of the customs house for vehicles is also due to the fact that the number of cars imported to Armenia from outside Eurasian Economic Union-member countries has sharply increased and is still expected to rise.
“The thing is that our current capabilities, both in terms of infrastructure and human resources, will not be sufficient to handle the expected unprecedented volumes [of car imports], and that’s why we have launched this project very urgently upon the instruction of the prime minister,” said the SRC head.
Ananian said that construction of the External Economic Activities Service Center will require around 2.2 billion drams (over $4.6 million). An area of 21 hectares that was previously used as a military tank unit has been allocated for the construction of the facility.
Gyumri is situated about 120 kilometers to the northwest of capital Yerevan. It is the center of Shirak, one of Armenia’s poorest province. In a Facebook post today Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian, who is currently on vacation, wrote that he hopes that the construction of the new facility in Gyumri will boost the city’s economic life.