Tips on Living in Armenia

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Living in Armenia? Here are some things that may come in handy to know. Mostly services/contacts which you might want to know about.

Phone Calls

Use calling cards to call abroad. Available everywhere, and quite cheap per minute rates.


Dentistry is very cheap compared to the west. If you find a good dentist, you can have work done in Armenia for a fraction of the cost. Finding one with a nice, clean office and good reputation is the key though.

Levon near Garegin Njhdeh Metro.
Nice clean and modern office. Inexpensive.

Cable TV

To get wireless cable tv, there is only one option really. The box costs $200 and monthly service is $20/month. The range of channels is pretty good in English - with multiple news, sports, educational, cartoon, music channels. Movies and comedy are quite weak however. Your only other option is sattelite.

DVD rental

It seems everyones favorite is the unmarked basement shop on Issahakian Street, between the Cascades and Baghramian. Amazing selection, 400 dram a night, no deposit. The covers are usually in Russian however, even though the movies have Russian and English soundtracks usually.

Getting Packages

If you get a package, especially one insured for $300 or more, it is likely to be stopped by customs and they may try to extract a bribe from you. Two people have reported this - and the bribe was more than any possible legal tax might have been in one case. You really shouldn't have to pay any tax according to the 2005 laws I have read, summarized by the US Embassy below. Show them you know the law, that you have info from the US Embassy, and that you're not going to pay a bribe.

Customs Tariffs
Armenia has one of the world's most open tariff regimes. Armenia imposes import tariffs on goods classified pursuant to the international Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS). Tariffs are 0 or 10 percent in ad valorem terms and levied on C.I.F. values. The ten percent tariff is mainly levied on consumer goods and luxury items. There are no duties on temporary imports, or imports made on credits to the government or pursuant to other international assistance. Armenia has no export tax.
Armenian and foreign citizens can import duty free articles valued up to $300, with some exceptions. Persons arriving in Armenia for permanent residence can import their personal belongings duty free. There is no limit on hard currency imports to Armenia.
Customs authorities calculate and collect Value Added Tax (VAT) (20%) at the point of entry. In addition, there are excise taxes on alcohol, tobacco and oil.
Customs Valuation
Customs valuation provisions of the Armenian Customs Code are in full conformity with the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement, whereby Customs valuation of imported goods is based upon the transaction value of those goods. The only document required by the Armenian Customs Code to establish the transaction value of imported goods is a commercial invoice. Pursuant to the Customs Code, Armenian Customs can request specified additional documentation to confirm the transaction value only in certain, specified circumstances. If the transaction value of imported goods cannot be established, alternate methods of valuation are set out in the Customs Code according to the provisions of the WTO Customs Valuation Agreement.
Temporary Entry
No customs tariffs are levied on goods imported temporarily under customs control and under an appropriate customs regime. Foreigners who temporarily enter Armenia can bring one vehicle with its trailer duty free on the condition that it must be taken with them when they leave. If the foreigner does not re-export the car, all proper duties must be paid.
Export Documentation
The Customs Department requires all exporters to present a valid contract, an origin certificate for certain cases, an export license for certain items and a certificate of conformity for all ferrous and non-ferrous metals. A certificate of origin is needed to export products to the countries of Commonwealth of Independent States. An export license is required for the following items: (a) pharmaceutical products and raw materials for pharmaceutical products; (b) textiles and clothing exported to EU countries; (c) objects of art considered part of the national heritage; and (d) rare plants and animals. A certificate of conformity, to be obtained from the Department for Standardization, Certification, and Metrology of Armenia (SARM), is required for the exports of metals because the government sets a list of minimum prices quarterly to prevent exports at an artificially low cost.