Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz signed a directive to allow the import of yellow cheeses on Wednesday, one week after the government approved a list of recommendations on how to increase competition in the dairy industry.
“Opening the dairy market to imports will encourage competition and ultimately reduce retail prices. This step will improve the welfare of consumers and of the Israeli economy,” Steinitz said.
Under the new directive, the import tax on yellow cheeses will be set at 70%, and drop by 10% each year until reaching 20% in 2016. At the same time, a limited amount of yellow cheeses will be permitted for export at the 20% rate starting immediately. The limit has been set at 1,500 tons per allotment, and will rise 1,500 tons each year until reaching 7,500 tons in 2015.