AFP reports that Iraq will sharply raise tariffs in March in the first major reform of its customs regime since the US led coalition that ousted Saddam Hussein slashed duties.
The new tariffs were detailed in 794 page document published by the Iraqi finance ministry’s public commission of customs and will come in to effect on March 6.
The duties, which are intended to protect local industries as the economy recovers following decades of violence and sanctions, range from zero to 80% of the value of products being imported.
Tariffs for rice, sugar and antibiotics will be set at 5% while duties for cars are 15%.
The law replaces a variety of past regulations including some dating back to the time of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the occupation authority charged with administering post invasion Iraq.
In Order 12, originally signed June 12th 2003, the CPA suspended tariffs on all products, notably leading to a massive influx of used cars some of which are still on Iraq’s streets today.
Order 38, signed in September 2003, created a reconstruction levy — a single tariff of 5% on all imported goods except food, medicine, books, clothing and products related to humanitarian assistance or Iraq’s reconstruction.
Receipts from the levy which was implemented at the start of 2004 were meant to be used only to assist the Iraqi people and support the reconstruction of Iraq.
(Sources: AFP, Steel Guru)