Anbaki went on, “There are obstacles facing the tariff collections by customs at the checkpoints in Baghdad, but the prime minister’s office has recently formed committees and teams to end this problem.” He stressed, “There is a good development in the KRG in terms of enforcing the customs tariff law, which is helping the KRG put an end to its financial crisis.”
Between 2003 and 2015, Iraq imported goods worth $475 billion, according to statistics from the Central Bank of Iraq.
In this regard, the Economic Committee rapporteur in parliament, Faris al-Faris, told Al-Monitor, “If corruption continues to control border crossings, it will hurt the economy because industry would remain disrupted and the foreign goods would flood the local markets while the corrupt officials get richer than the state.”
He added, “The parliament has taken action to curb corruption at border crossings by approving the law for a border crossings committee, which has been given full liberty to eliminate corruption and further monitor the border crossings as well as work on developing them. However, a conflict has erupted between the parties that wish to promote the committee’s role and those who oppose it.”
The president of the Iraqi Federation of Industries, Ali al-Saadi, told Al-Monitor, “The Iraqi state’s revenue from enforcing the tariff law currently stands at 20% of what it should be, which is a very weak proportion.” He said he hoped that “applying the law properly would positively reflect on the industry and result in reviving around 50,000 stalled industrial projects.”
Speaking to Al-Monitor, the president of the Economic Media Centre, Durgham Muhammad Ali, summarized the situation at the border crossings, saying, “The border crossings are subject to quotas, corruption and meddling by parties. Meanwhile, the state remains unable to apply the tariff law as it lacks control.”