Iraq sets conditions to exempt Jordanian products from fee hikes

23-08-2017 04:33 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Iraq has not yet decide on exempting Jordanian products from customs duties charged by the Iraqi government on all imports, Abd El Ameer Aziz, Iraq’s commercial attaché to Jordan said.

Jordan has requested Iraq to exempt Jordan from the 30 per cent customs duties imposed on imports from all countries during the meeting of Jordanian-Iraqi joint committee, as the two neighbours are bracing for a new era after the expected reopening of the border crossing following a three-year hiatus caused by the security situation in the Iraqi territories.

Iraq has set three conditions in order to exempt Jordan from duties. One of these is that Jordan provides a list of the Jordanian factories’ production capacity.

“Iraq needs to make sure that the products imported from Jordan are not reexported products and at least 40 per cent of the production process has been in Jordan,” Aziz told The Jordan Times.

Amman Chamber of Industry Chairman Senator Ziad Homsi considered the questions around the Jordanian product quality and ability to meet the needs of the Iraqi market to be positive and implying that Iraq aims to control the products entering its market and their quality.

In addition to what the Iraqi diplomat said, Homsi noted that among the other conditions is that any products from Jordan bound for Iraq should not constitute a competition for Iraqi-made products and homegrown crops.

The incoming products should comply with the Iraqi Agricultural Calendar or the Production Season For Certain Agricultural Products, the sector leader said.

“These measures aim to protect the Iraqi domestic products,” Homsi commented, adding that the Jordan Chamber of Industry has already provided the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply with the required production capacity data concerning the factories that are willing to export to Iraq.

Yanal Barmawi, the ministry’s spokesperson confirmed the delivery of the list to the Iraqi side two months ago and that the ministry is following up with the Iraqi government on the issue.

The official also noted that the free-trade agreement between Jordan and Iraq holds both parties committed to not imposing customs duties.

The trade exchange between the two countries witnessed a retreat in 2015 and 2016, while figures of net exports to Iraq have revealed a decrease in 2016 and mid 2017, Homsi noted.

Before the border closure crisis in 2014, Jordanian exports to Iraq were around 20 per cent of the national exports but they went down to 8-10 per cent in 2016.

Exports to Iraq peaked at JD1.247 million by the end of 2013 . However, they decreased to JD470 million by the end of 2016, the industrialist added.

Jordan’s exports to Iraq include food, cleaning materials, electrical devices and appliances, paper, plastic, iron and steel products, in addition to medicines and fertilisers.


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