KRG removes taxes on some food products

People walk in a street market in Erbil on February 16, 2016. (AFP photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has removed taxes on imports of some food products for two months, an official said on Saturday.

General Director of Customs Samal Adbulrahman said the KRG’s decision on removing taxes on some food products had gone into effect since 12 a.m. on Sunday.

“The decision has been made for all border crossings and airports,” he told Esta Media Network, noting that it will be effective for two months.

The decision affects imports of flour, rice, sunflower oil, corn oil, frozen vegetable oil, black tea, sugar, chickpeas, lentil, beans, black eyed peas, and snap beans as well as infant formula.

The official further said collecting taxes from traders importing food products would be postponed and that it would be facilitated for them to import foods on condition that they abide by the Region’s quality of control.

The KRG’s decision comes as prices of foods and other basic necessities have risen in the Kurdistan Region’s local markets. Officials attributed the issue to the war in Ukraine.

Both Russia and Ukraine are major producers of foodstuffs, including sunflower oil and wheat, and the Middle East is particularly dependent on imports from the two countries.

Iraq is a major Middle East grain importer and needs between 4.5 million and 5 million tons of wheat a year to supply its massive food rationing program.

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