The Iraqi ports spokesperson said that “the inauguration of this laboratory will facilitate the job of the trader and lawmaker equally, especially since the samples used to be sent to Baghdad to undergo examination and checking for compliance with the standards — an operation that requires time, effort and money.”
“Now, we can examine the merchandise and goods in Basra with less effort. The bustling port movement and the rise in the volume of commercial and economic exchanges with many countries have drowned ports with goods,” he said.
The Ministry of Planning had met in January 2011 with two international companies, one of which is French and the other Swiss, to examine the goods entering Iraq through border outlets. However, the manager of Umm Qasr Port, south of Basra, Safaa Hussein, said that the implementation of the strict inspection measures has pushed suppliers to freeze a big part of their activities.
Hussein added that a large number of goods’ suppliers to Iraq have recently left the southern Iraqi maritime ports. This is due to the strict constraints on goods there, the requirement of the place of production certificate, the examination and quality control measures and the sonar device that tracks any radioactive pollution in the goods.
Iraq has four ports, the largest being Umm Qasr Port. Then, there is Khor al-Zubair Port, south of Basra and Abu Flous Port, southeast of Basra. The oldest is Maaqal Port that was established in 1919 by the British administration of the city at the time.
Investment and Economy Committee MP Noura al-Bajari said that Iraq has become a “garbage bin” for all mediocre foreign goods, due to the slackening in the implementation of the customs’ law and to the absence of a protection policy for local products that forbids the exportation of such goods.