Royal Armenia accuses customs of bias and discrimination

July 26 2004


YEREVAN, JULY 26, ARMENPRESS: Chief managers of Royal Armenia
company dealing with imports of coffee to Armenia, accused today
customs officials of bias and discrimination against their company, a
practice which they said was started from 2003 spring. The managers
claimed that customs officials demand 50 and even 100 percent higher
customs fees than the real cost of the coffee suggests.
Company managers said they had asked a local court to protect them
against such treatment and despite three verdicts issued by it, which
deemed the customs officials’ treatment illegal, the practice is
going on. “We announce officially that we are not going any longer to
work according “the rules” imposed by customs officials and we have
also decided to speak out about corruption practices corroding the
customs service,” the company’s managers announced during a special
news conference.
A lawyer of the company said also that customs officers have been
refusing to let through a batch of 93 tons of coffee beans for two
weeks already forcing the company to pay $50 in penalties for each of
the five containers. The company has sent letters of complaint to the
president, prime minister, justice and foreign ministers.
Royal Armenia in which 96 percent of the capital is of
non-Armenian origin, exports 7o percent of its products and is
planning to extend the geography of its partners to CIS and Europe
countries. It brings in annually some 9,000 tons of coffee beans.