Armenia's steady progress in Customs modernization

24 November 2014

At the invitation of the Minister of Finance of Armenia, Mr. Gagik Khachatryan, Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya visited Yerevan, Armenia, on 20 and 21 November 2014 to discuss the progress in Customs reform.  Mr. Khachatryan was promoted to Minister of Finance after the Armenian State Revenue Committee that he headed was merged with the Ministry of Finance in April 2014, but he retains the position of Head of Customs.

On the first day of his visit, Secretary General Mikuriya met with the Prime Minister of Armenia, Mr. Hovik Abrahamyan, and reviewed the progress in Customs reform since 2009 when the WCO carried out a diagnostic mission and made recommendations.  Last month the WCO sent an evaluation mission to appraise the improvement over the past five years. 

The Secretary General presented the overall positive evaluation to the Prime Minister, including: the alignment of Armenia’s Customs law with the global standards supported by the accession to the Revised Kyoto Convention in 2013; the deployment of the “World Trade Management” IT system and the current move towards Single Window; and investment in human resources strengthened by the development of the training structure and infrastructure. 

The remaining challenge is to further improve the climate for business by enhancing the Customs-business partnership, exemplified by the introduction of the AEO programme and the necessary adaptation of Armenia's regulations and systems to those of the Eurasian Economic Community.

Accompanied throughout his visit by Minister of Finance Khachatryan, Secretary General Mikuriya visited the training centre for Customs to address a seminar on AEO that was being held with the participation of a WCO expert.  He emphasized to the participants that building trust between Customs and business through the AEO programme would further improve the climate for business, progress already recognized by the World Bank's “Doing Business”.  After paying a visit to the Tax Service Centre, he travelled to Diligan to see the site where the Ministry of Finance Training Centre is being constructed.  

On the second day, Secretary General Mikuriya had a working meeting with the Minister of Finance and senior managers of Customs, followed by a press conference and TV interviews.  He was then received by the President of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan, to discuss the challenge faced by Armenia in ensuring connectivity at borders.  The President agreed on the need to make Customs a showcase for building trust in the public sector and praised the partnership between Armenia and the WCO in support of Customs modernization.  

Photos

  • During his visit to Armenia, WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, was received by the President of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan.

    During his visit to Armenia, WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, was received by the President of Armenia, Mr. Serzh Sargsyan.

    Download full size image
  • Armenia’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Gagik Khachatryan, and WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, during their visit to the Training Centre of the Ministry of Finance in Yerevan

    Armenia’s Minister of Finance, Mr. Gagik Khachatryan, and WCO Secretary General, Mr. Kunio Mikuriya, during their visit to the Training Centre of the Ministry of Finance in Yerevan

    Download full size image
  • Visit to the Training Centre under construction in Dilijan

    Visit to the Training Centre under construction in Dilijan

    Download full size image