KUWAIT CITY, March 7: The decision taken by Ministry of Finance to increase the customs fees for iron rods and cables used for construction purposes from five percent to ten percent is valid from March 2018 to February 2019, reports Al-Qabas daily quoting informed sources.
They explained that the decision, which could be further extended, is based on a recommendation of the GCC Secretariat General. The decision was approved by the committee of commercial cooperation, committee of industrial cooperation and committee of financial cooperation. It is part of the actions aimed at confronting the phenomenon of dumping.
The sources revealed that Ministry of Finance took the decision after consulting with Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and after the cost of iron witnessed some stability within the range of KD 220-KD 230 per ton.
They indicated that the new customs fees will increase the prices of imported iron in a manner that will add a competitive advantage to local producers, adding that the decision is in line with the steps taken by other countries including the United States of America, which takes similar decisions to protect local products.
The sources explained that a previous study carried out by Ministry of Commerce and Industry highlighted the need to take some procedures for controlling the prices and preventing any unjustified increase in the prices.
These procedures also include toughening the inspection of imported shipments to ensure they match international criteria, as well as strengthening the process of monitoring the prices in the market. The recommended procedures that were part of the study of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry included addressing the GCC countries to take similar procedures and suspend the export of locally produced iron for a specific period. The study stressed the importance of toughening the process of monitoring the market of subsidized iron.