From Pet Food To Nuts: Egypt Raises Customs Levy To Cut Imports
Egypt has raised tariffs on a range of imported items from pet foods to nuts and watches as authorities seek to reduce the country’s import bill to save dollars.
The presidential decree published in the official Gazette on Sunday affects hundreds of items such as household appliances, clothing, shoes, watches as well as food for dogs and cats. Customs tariffs were raised by as much as 100 per cent on items such as some fruits and nuts, while duties on other goods were increased between 25 per cent to 50 per cent.
Egypt’s foreign currency resources have been squeezed by falling tourism revenue and a drop in both exports and Suez Canal tolls. Authorities have tightened rules to finance the imports of goods deemed non-essential and the central bank, under Governor Tarek Amer, has raised interest rates and repaid funds owned to stock and bond investors in an attempt to boost confidence in the economy.
The central bank also increased the monthly deposit limit for importers of food, machinery, spare parts, capital goods and medicine to $250,000 from $50,000.
Amer said in an interview this month that rules to curb what he described as unnecessary imports may save about $20 billion this year, improving the balance of payments. Egypt imported $61 billion worth of goods in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to official data, almost three times the value of its exports.
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