The Armenian government cited Ankara’s “inflammatory calls,” arms supplies to Azerbaijan and “deployment of terrorist mercenaries to the conflict zone” when it approved the ban on October 20. It said the measure is meant to not only hurt Turkey financially but also neutralize “various kinds of dangers” relating to imports of goods from the “hostile country.”
The ban will come into effect on December 31 and remain in force for six months. Government officials have said that it could be extended.
In a statement, the State Revenue Committee (SRC) warned importers to “strictly comply” with the ban, saying that “enhanced customs controls” will be put in place at Armenian border checkpoints. The SRC said they must be prepared to produce documents indicating the “country of origin” of goods imported by them.
The statement also stressed that Turkish-manufactured products cannot be re-exported to Armenia from Georgia, Russia or any other country.
According to government data, Armenia imported $178 million worth of Turkish goods, including clothing and machinery, in January-October 2020. The imports from Turkey were down by 15 percent year on year.
Deputy Prime Minister Mher Grigorian expressed confidence in October that Armenian businesspeople will not have trouble importing the same types of goods from other countries or manufacturing them in Armenia. He said the government plans to subsidize loans designed for such import substitution.
Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia and kept the border between the two states closed since the early 1990s out of solidarity with Azerbaijan. It has also banned all imports from Armenia.