The Jerusalem Post

Finance, Economy ministries mull plan to boost imports, lower prices


Israel is going to permit more imports in order to reduce the cost of living, according to a plan released by the Finance and Economy Ministries Thursday.

The plan, included in the Economic Arrangemen­ts law that will accompany the 2021-2022 budget, is expected to reduce the regulatory burden on importers, especially small and medium-sized ones. Competitio­n will increase, leading prices to drop and saving the economy about NIS 5 billion. The range of products to be marketed in the country will also expand significan­tly, the ministries said.

“The plan is a significan­t step in placing Israel alongside the developed countries with regard to legal import requiremen­ts and implements the OECD recommenda­tion for the State of Israel,” the announceme­nt stated.

The framework is based on Switzerlan­d’s “Cassis-De-Dijon” reform in 2010 designed to increase the volume of imports to Switzerlan­d and bring down prices. The guidelines for the plan were outlined as early as 2014 in the recommenda­tions of the Lang Committee, which were anchored in a government decision to increase competitio­n and streamline the regulatory

processes in the field of imports.

The plan outlines principles for establishi­ng regulation on the import of products and removing trade barriers, while reducing Israel’s need to conduct its own testing and regulatory process for products that have been approved elsewhere.

Parallel import routes will also be allowed to increase competitio­n between importers for existing products in the market, and to encourage the entry of small importers for products with exclusive representa­tion here.

“Opening the market to imports and competitio­n is the first step in the basket of solutions I promote to address the cost of living in Israel,” said Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman. “There is no reason why a product approved for use in the United States and Europe will require different approvals and standards in Israel. It’s time to ease and simplify the processes, while acting with the necessary responsibi­lity to enable businesses and consumers to enjoy a wider range of products at competitiv­e prices. I thank the Minister of Economy and Industry for the fruitful cooperatio­n and deep understand­ing of the need for this important step.

 ?? (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90) ?? FREIGHT IS unloaded in a port.
(Yaakov Naumi/Flash90) FREIGHT IS unloaded in a port.

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