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Armenia kicks off preparations for joining Customs Union

September 19, 2013, 14:22 UTC+3

A package of documents to be discussed at accession talks will be ready by October 10

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YEREVAN, September 19 (Itar-Tass) - Armenia’s government has kicked off preparations for joining the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The cabinet of ministers on Thursday endorsed a relevant action plan.

A coordination commission and sectoral working groups will be set up in the next few days, Economics Minister Vagram Avanesyan said. These groups will be tasked to review the current Customs Union documents and Armenia’s international treaties to spot possible problems that might emerge before Armenia in connection with its liabilities as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Further tasks include comparative studies of Armenia’s and Customs Union’s laws to sort out norms “immediately acceptable” for Armenia, norms that will take some time to adjust, and finally norms to be agreed through talks with the Customs Union, the minister noted. Thus, in his words, coordination is needed as long as customs tariffs and other taxes and duties in force within the Customs Union are concerned. Armenian experts will scrutinize the current norms regulating the movement of goods subject to mandatory registration in the Customs Union.

A package of documents to be discussed at accession talks will be ready by October 10. Concurrently, work will be started to draft a protocol of Armenia’s accession of the Customs Union.

Within fifteen days after the talks, the Armenian government will specify a list of the republic’s legal acts that are to be amended or cancelled in order to harmonize them with the Customs Union laws.

So far, no dates for Armenia’s accession of the Customs Union have been fixed.

After talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on September 3, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan reiterated his country’s intention to join the Customs Union and join the process of the formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.

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