Weekly Client Alert # 4

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BILLS IN PARLIAMENT

(Fully Adopted)

 

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Pursuant to the amendment of the RA Law on Advertisement, it is prohibited to place advertisements outside of community common use areas defined by the community council, on pillars, electric columns, fences, city furnishings, as well as outdoor advertisements in any other public place, as well as outside banners without the permission of the head of the community.

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Non-Governmental Organizations

According to the amendment of the RA Law on Non-governmental organizations, henceforth all NGOs shall submit annual reports of their activates, where, among others, shall be mentioned the total sum of annual incomes (monetary and/or proprietary), used monetary means and/or movable, immovable property, information regarding the type of entrepreneurial activity and the use of profits obtained therefrom.

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GOVERNMENT DECREES

 

The First Package of Measures to Neutralize The Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

In order to neutralize the economic consequences of the Coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide financial assistance to business entities in the form of co-financing, refinancing and interest rate subsidies.

Within this event, the assistance can be obtained by those entities, that are considered to be an organization or an individual operating in the territory of the RA or an individual entrepreneur (with the exception of those conducting financial activities, organizers of lotteries and gambling and other similar activities) and who, at least in the last year launched the trading activity in RA and have good credit and tax history.

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The Second Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

In order to neutralize the economic consequences of the coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide assistance to economic entities operating in the field of agriculture. It is planned to provide assistance to economic entities in the form of co-financing of targeted loans and (or) subsidizing the interest rate on loans/leases received from banks or credit organizations operating in the territory of the Republic of Armenia.

This decision will apply to individuals or legal entities, private entrepreneurs operating in the field of agriculture on the territory of the Republic of Armenia, who have good credit and in the case of legal entities also tax history.

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The Third Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

In order to neutralize the economic consequences of the coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide financial assistance to small and medium-sized businesses operating in the spheres of processing industry, housing and public catering, transport and warehousing, tourism, healthcare and other service sectors with a circulation of 24-500 million RA drams in 2019 and whose turnover for each quarter of 2019 was not less than 10% of its annual turnover, as well as have good credit and tax history, through targeted loans, received from banks or credit organizations operating and licensed.

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The Fourth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

The goal of the fourth package of measures to neutralize the economic consequences of coronavirus is to help families with minor children under 14 years of age who face social problems as a result of difficulties encountered in the labour market. In accordance with this, assistance will be provided if.

  • both parents were fired in the period. from March 13 to March 25,
  • one of the parents was fired in the period from March 13 to March 25, and the other did not have a job,
  • one of the parents was fired in the period. from March 13 to March 25, and the other died, was declared dead or missing,
  • a single mother or parent living with a child (if the child's parents are divorced) who was fired in the period from March 13 to 2020 to March 25.

According to the program, it is planned to provide one-time assistance in the amount of 100 thousand AMD.

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The Fifth Package of Measures to Neutralize the Economic Consequences of the Coronavirus

In order to neutralize the economic consequences of the coronavirus, the government of Armenia will provide one-time assistance to individual entrepreneurs in order to maintain effective workplaces. The beneficiaries of this assistance may be those entities (except those conducting financial activities and organizers of lotteries and gambling and other similar activities), which in the period from 01.01.2020 to 01.04.2020 constantly had 2-50 employees and the actual salary fund paid by these entities did not decrease during this specified period.

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Grant Competition for High Technology Companies

In order to help overcome challenges aimed by the spread of coronavirus, the Ministry of the high-tech industry of Armenia plans to announce a grant competition.

Within the framework of the competition, those high-tech companies, which will offer more effective and innovative solutions for the implementation of their projects will receive grants:

Grants will be given to companies that have submitted the five best projects selected by the Competition Commission in the following format:

  • First place-10 AMD
  • Second place-5 AMD
  • Third place-3 AMD
  • Fourth place-2 AMD
  • Fifth place-2 AMD

By taking into consideration the urgency of events, the deadline is shortened from 30 days to 7 days. Also there is an opportunity to submit applications electronically by completing the form posted on the official website of the Ministry of the high-tech industry of the Republic of Armenia.

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Restrictions Applicable to Public Authorities

Due to the state of emergency, restrictions on the activities of public authorities have been envisaged:

  • wherever possible, the activities of all bodies should be carried out remotely / online
  • Personnel shall not be allowed to enter administrative buildings unless instructed by the head of the body;
  • Service offices should be temporarily suspended, and if this is not possible, activities should be restricted, which would mean a reduction in the number of working hours and staff.
  • online services should be provided exclusively electronically, and in case of its impossibility should be provided only in case of urgent need.

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Restrictions Applicable to Economic Activity

Due to the state of emergency throughout the Republic of Armenia, temporary restrictions on types of economic activity have been envisaged. It is allowed to practice the not prohibited types of economic activity, exclusively in compliance with the relevant rules. You can read more about the list of prohibited types of economic activity and the rules to be followed when dealing with allowed ones.

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Temporary Restrictions on Economic Activity

To prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus disease in Armenia, it has been temporarily prohibited to engage in economic activity throughout the country unless it is done remotely / online. Exceptions were made to certain types of economic activity, as provided for by Decision N 14 of the Paret dated March 24, 2020, and amendments thereto, as well as the activities of the caterers. These restrictions will remain in effect until March 31,11:59 pm.

Find more here (Amendment 1)

 

Conditions on Movement in the RA

The free movement of people throughout our country has been restricted on the basis of the state of emergency declared in the country. Employees of business entities continuing their economic activity upon leaving and returning to work, and other citizens, when required to visit certain places (a list of these places may be found via link), must carry with them a passport/ID  and a movement sheet filled out on a paper or via telephone app. For the above cases, up to one adult passenger is permitted to transport when travelling in light passenger cars (with no more than 8 seats for passengers). In the case of transportation of persons with mobility, sight and hearing impairments, the transportation of the accompanying person (caretaker) is also allowed. There is no limit to the number of children being transported. These restrictions, which are set forth in Decision N 16 of the Paret dated March 24, 2020, and amendments thereto, shall apply until March 31, 11:59 pm.

Find more here (Amendment 1, Amendment 2)

 

TAX LEGISLATION

 

Currency Dealers and Brokers Will no Longer be Subject to Licensing

The draft legislation, pursuant to which the separate licensing regime for currency dealers and brokers is to be eliminated, fully passed second reading in the Parliament on March 24. Now currency trade will be performed by other financial institutions.

Find more here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here

 

Prevention of Corruption and Secrets Protected by Law

Hereinafter the Committee on Prevention of Corruption shall have access to that information of officials obliged to submit declarations on income, which is considered as a bank or insurance secrecy under the law. On March 24 the package of legislative amendments passed second reading at the Parliament.

Find more here, here, and here

 

Amendments to the Law on Financial System Mediator

Hereinafter not only natural persons but those sole entrepreneurs and legal entities engaged in micro-business shall have the right to apply to the financial system mediator. On March 24 the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Financial System Mediator passed first reading at the Parliament.

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Bank Secrecy and International Cooperation on Tax Matters

It is possible that a new type of special procedure will be added to the Code on Administrative Procedure. By virtue, that of new special procedure tax bodies will be authorized to apply to the court with a request for information comprising bank or other financial secrecy. The main rationale behind this amendment is ensuring compliance with obligations of the Republic of Armenia under the OECD Global forum and other international instruments and implementation of standards of exchange of information for tax purposes. The draft has been initiated by the Government.

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Grace Period

In case of emergency situations, natural persons may be granted grace periods for repayment of credits, if

  1. the emergency situation has resulted in limitations in the everyday activity of natural persons and legal entities; and
  2. as a result of such limitations, people have been deprived of the opportunity to be engaged in current circulation and incomes. The Draft Law on Necessary Amendment to the Civil Code has been submitted to the National Assembly on March 26.

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Tax Authority May Obtain Complete Information on the Owners of the Securities

Currently, it is being considered to enable the tax authority to have access to information on securities accounts, shares and owners opened by an economic entity.

The draft amendments to the law have not yet been included in the agenda of the National Assembly.

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Implementation of Online and Mobile Sales and Mobile Services in Cash Register

Currently, It is proposed to register cash registers not in a specific place of sale of goods and services, but only in the name of the organization, allowing them to be used at any address:

In this case, the use of cash registers becomes mandatory also when selling goods from movable and vehicle trading points, or through online commerce.

The draft amendments to the law have not yet been included in the agenda of the National Assembly.

Find more here