Israeli import reforms to bring greater variety to store shelves in 2023

Israelis can expect more variety on store shelves in 2023 due to import reforms that hope to increase market competition and reduce the cost of living.

Consumers at a supermarket, illustration (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Consumers at a supermarket, illustration
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

The King David event hall of the Dan Hotel was packed with diplomats, executives and industry insiders on Monday morning, as the Israeli Chambers of Commerce held a Diplomatic Forum on the subject of the country’s newly enacted import reforms, which will alter hundreds of Israeli import standards.

By reducing the amount of red tape and paperwork that foreign manufacturers and importers face, the government hopes to increase market competition within Israel, thereby reducing the steep cost of living.

The import of hundreds of products ranging from TVs to tampons to vacuums to bicycle seats will be affected by the reform, relaxing the bureaucratic process faced by manufacturers hoping to bring their goods into the country.

The new import standards will affect food, produce, cosmetics and appliances, bringing a vast amount of increased variety to store shelves as manufacturers begin taking advantage of them.

“Products that comply with the regulations in major advanced countries should be good for Israel as well."

Inon Elroy

“Products that comply with the regulations in major advanced countries should be good for Israel as well," said Inon Elroy, director and head of the industrial cooperation authority, during a panel. "The main rationale behind this reform has been to increase post-market surveillance and to shift the responsibility for the safety of products onto importers and retailers."

4 IN JERUSALEM | MAY 15, 2020RELIGIONHOME ECONOMICSSUPER HAMOSHAVA on Emek Refaim Street: Hopefully things are getting back to normal. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)4 IN JERUSALEM | MAY 15, 2020RELIGIONHOME ECONOMICSSUPER HAMOSHAVA on Emek Refaim Street: Hopefully things are getting back to normal. (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

"According to our estimations, the reform stands to save about 10% of the bureaucratic burden on importers," he continued, adding that it was designed to make the import process faster and easier, further incentivizing foreign manufacturers to enter the Israeli market.

Bringing more brands and retail chains to Israel

Alongside the import of new products in Israel, there is also a focus to bring in more retail chains and brands to the start-up nation.

"Most Israelis are traveling all the time, [and they see products in other countries] and then they get back and say 'bring this [stuff to Israel],'" said Zvika Schwimmer, CEO of Electra Consumer Products.

Schwimmer spearheaded the recent successful efforts to bring the convenience store chain 7-Eleven, the French retailer Carrefour and appliance manufacturer Bosch to Israel. "Our focus today is on how to bring [more] things, in the right proportion, to the Israeli consumer," he said.