Iraqi Import Tariffs Rise Sharply from March

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)

3 Responses to Iraqi Import Tariffs Rise Sharply from March

  1. A case for higher tariffs? | Iraq Business News February 12, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    […] posts:Iraqi Import Tariffs Rise Sharply from March AFP reports that Iraq will sharply raise tariffs in […]

  2. Waad Akif February 13, 2011 at 1:46 am #

    It is absolutely not the right time to increase tariffs. Many Iraqis are still struggling without jobs and are barely feeding themselves nor feeding their families. Many Iraqis still feel betrayed and discontent by their government performance and miss management of the country’s wealth. New tariffs will surely topple off the scale and may start an uprising similar to the one which took place in Egypt and Tunisia. For the sake of stability in the country, the government must not think or even consider to add any tariffs on all imports, especially essential products such as rice and sugar. These products’ prices have already reached all time highs globally. Some doubled or even tripled in value internationally just in the past few months, causing unrest in many countries all over the world. Some Iraqis are cynical to say why a rich country like Iraq with adequate revenues from oil exports would want to increase tariffs during such difficult times. Many claim oil revenues were not spent wisely and most of it vanished unaccounted for. It is evident that oil revenues did not affect their lives positively. Worse off, many did not receive some or all of their monthly food rationing for months. Where did the money go they ask and wonder? Why would the government need more money? The Iraqi experience proved that measures like increasing tariffs from zero or five percent to more than 30 percent will only strengthen an already strong smuggling mafia and worsen the level of corruption in the country.
    In light of the above, it is wise to agree that it is not the time to consider increasing tariffs. It will only have a destructive consequences on the people and on the country at large. The government must focus on building up the security, the infra structure and the electricity which will make the people’s lives bearable and surely will bring in investments which will start an industrial revolution. nevertheless, Iraqi government must focus on how to better utilize the huge oil revenues in order for ordinary Iraqis to start witnessing the long waited dream and promise of a better life and a better future they have been waiting for since April 9,2003.
    God bless Iraq. Long live a just, a prosperous and a well governed Iraq.

  3. […] to our report last week on Iraq’s new import tariffs, you can download the new tariff list in English by clicking on […]

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  1. A case for higher tariffs? | Iraq Business News - February 12, 2011

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  2. New Iraqi Import Tariffs – The Full List | Iraq Business News - February 14, 2011

    […] to our report last week on Iraq’s new import tariffs, you can download the new tariff list in English by clicking on […]