Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday signed orders to reduce or cancel
customs duties and purchase tax on hundreds of commodities, including
electronics and textiles.
One order, which comes into effect January 1,
cancels the 8-percent to 12% customs duty on popular goods, including washing
machines, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, hair dryers, toasters, electric blankets,
electric toothbrushes, home coffee makers, light bulbs, sunglasses, regular
glasses, batteries and more. In addition, customs duties will be reduced by up
to 10% on textile products.
The government agreed to these changes on
October 30 last year as part of its adoption of recommendations made by the
Trajtenberg Report on socioeconomic change, which was established following last
summer’s public protests over the cost of living. In January, customs duties
were reduced on types of products that are not manufactured in
Another order, which comes into effect October 1, cancels
purchase tax on imported entertainment electronics products. Until now, imported
television screens, stereo systems, overhead projectors and DVD players have
included a purchase tax of 15%, while TV converter boxes and related products
have included a 10% tax.
Lastly, Steinitz signed an order to adopt some
of the Kedmi Committee’s recommendations on the food industry, which were
submitted in January. The order outlines three measures:
• The gradual reduction
of customs duties, over a four-year period, on products for which there is local
competition but for which duties are relatively high, such as fresh
• Immediate reduction of customs duties on fresh-food products that
are not manufactured locally, such as specific types of fish, flowers, herbs and
nuts, dried fruits, seeds and mushrooms.
• Differential reduction of
duties, over a three-year period, on a range of industrial products, some of
them raw materials used by local industry and some of them completed products
used by consumers, such as starch, canned fish, halva, sweets, biscuits, ice
cream, baking powder, bulgur and buckwheat.