Nineveh-Duhok Customs Post Removed

By John Lee.

The Iraqi government has reportedly removed the Fayida customs post between Mosul and Duhok province on Tuesday, following a parliamentary vote that deemed the customs points illegal and ordered their removal.

According to Rudaw, the checkpoint, along with two others established by former Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi between Sulaimani and Kirkuk and Kirkuk and Erbil, were a heavy burden on traders.

It adds that the other two customs points are also awaiting removal.

More here

(Source: Rudaw)

KRG and Iraqi Customs Duties to be Unified

By John Lee.

Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will reportedly soon unify customs duties to streamline the system and prevent the double taxation of the Kurdistan Region’s businessmen.

According to Rudaw, Erbil and Baghdad have two different customs fees, causing disputes between the two aresa.

They previously reached a preliminary agreement on unifying the customs fee, but could not agree on who would receive the revenues.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Iraq exempts 540 Jordanian Goods from Duty

By John Lee.

MENAFN reports that 540 Jordanian goods have been officially exempted from customs duties of Iraq.

Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yarub Al-Qudah (pictured) said the decision aims to increase Jordanian exports to the Iraqi market, promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.

He added that Jordanian trucks will be allowed to enter Iraq, and vice versa.

(Source: MENAFN)

Corruption Blamed for Imports of Bad Food and Medicine

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Probe blames corruption for imports of bad food, medicine in Iraq

Iraq’s parliament is investigating allegations that corruption and fraud at border crossings involving “influential entities” have led to an influx of contaminated food supplies and expired or counterfeit medications into the country.

“Spoiled medications and food supplies come into Iraq. Large quantities have been confiscated. This [scheme] is backed by influential entities,” Noura al-Bajari, a member of the parliamentary Economy and Investment Committee, told the media Feb. 23. “This is the result of corruption in the Border Crossing Authority.”

Lethal food supplies have come into Iraq through the Umm Qasr border crossing in the south,” Abdel Salam al-Malki, a member of the same committee, told an Iraqi TV network Feb. 19.

Magued al-Gharawi, a member of the Security Committee, agreed, telling Al-Monitor, “Widespread incidents of fraud and manipulation are taking place at border crossings as trade cartels and lobbies affiliated with influential politicians control the process of smuggling expired medications and food supplies that are not fit for human consumption in exchange for undisclosed commissions paid to officials at specialized checkpoints.”

Shipments of medications and food supplies aren’t subjected to in-depth oversight or quality control at the crossings. When inspections are done, they are “carried out in a superficial manner that aims at covering up the corruption,” Gharawi said.

“These goods find their way to the market quite easily, as the number of health and security oversight examinations at shops and storehouses is small and they are bypassed through commissions and bribes. The citizen who deals with such hazardous material is the victim, as most of the time they never find out about the health impacts,” he added.

Can Iraq curb Corruption among Customs Officials?

By Salam Zidane for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The head of the Security and Defense Committee in the Iraqi parliament, Hakem al-Zamili, has spoken out about the corruption prevailing over Iraq’s border crossings. In a press conference held Oct. 3, he stated that the state was not benefiting from financial revenue that is directly going into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Corruption is robbing the state of potential revenue from the tariff law implemented this year to reduce the deficit in the current budget, which amounted to 24 trillion dinars ($18 billion). The General Customs Authority has announced that it had expected to collect $5 billion this year, but only $306.5 million had been received as of August.

Alaa Matar, a food merchant from Baghdad, told Al-Monitor, “The officials at the border crossings and customs are delaying processing their goods for up to a month to force [merchants] to deal with middlemen to reduce the delay to a week.”

He said, “Border crossing and customs employees work as middlemen between the managers and merchants and get paid 1 million dinars [$766] for each transaction. When it comes to imported goods with high taxes, these middlemen coordinate with the officials to change their category to goods with low taxes in exchange for thousands of dollars that go into the pockets of the customs officials.”

Matar added, “The goods coming from the Kurdistan Regional Government to Baghdad and the southern provinces should be taxed at the main entrance to the capital, but merchants are paying $2,500 to middlemen for each car to evade inspection.”

From 2003 until the end of 2015, the Iraqi government stopped applying the tariff law and merely applied the Iraq reconstruction tax, which amounted to 5% of the value of the goods, under Resolution 38 for 2003 issued by the Coalition Provisional Authority headed by Paul Bremer.

A major conflict erupted in 2015 between the local governments in southern Iraq and the KRG and the central government when the local bodies refused to enforce the law, but Baghdad finally used its power and applied the law and set up customs points around the capital to double-check customs.

Investment Opportunity: Customs Check-point in Diyala

State Commission for Customs, in coordination with the National Investment Commission (NIC), has announced an investment opportunity to establish a customs check point in Al Safra Zone / Al Uthaim in Diyala Province, and provide all necessary requirements and services (logistic and security).

Interested investors are entitled to present their wish to the customs commission headquarters/ legal department within 21 working days from the date of publishing this announcement accompanied with the following documents:-

  1. Feasiblity study matching the documents prepared by the State Commission of Customs, which are available in their legal department.
  2. Project primary engineering drawings.
  3. Investor’s documents and IDs.
  4. Financial efficiency with details regarding project funding.
  5. Duration and execution phases.
  6. Similar works.

The investment project enjoys the following advantages:-

  • Fees and taxes exemptions according to the amended Investment Law no. 13 for 2006.
  • The State Commission of Customs, the National Investment Commission and the local government are to provide facilitations to investors regarding needed licenses and approvals for the project through the One Stop Shop, in addition to facilitations during project execution and operating phases.
  • The foreign investor may transfer his capital, interests and workers’ wages according to the Central Bank of Iraq instructions after paying all debts.

In case of any inquiry, please contact the State Commission of Customs on

(Source: National Investment Commission)

An Evil Plot? Basra Boycotts New Customs Tax

This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

An Evil Plot? Iraq’s Most Industry-Savvy Province Refuses to Impose Baghdad’s New Customs Tax

A new customs tax came into effect in August. But in Basra, one of Iraq’s busiest provinces for imports, officials refuse to impose Baghdad’s tax, saying its unfair use is damaging business there.

There are over a thousand cars parked in a Kuwaiti port on the Iraqi-Kuwait border. There are another thousand or more parked in the Umm Qasr port on the Iraqi side of the border.

And apparently they are all sitting there because the importers and exporters refuse to pay the newly-imposed Iraqi customs duty, that has come into effect as part of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s package of financial and administrative reforms.

“We have suffered serious financial damages because of the delay in shipping our products from Kuwait,” local businessman, Saleh al-Sharifi, complained to NIQASH. “And we are paying for the costs of these delays.”

Local importers see the duty as unfair. “The new customs tax has only been applied in Basra – specifically in the ports of Umm Qasr and Safwan,” al-Sharifi says.

“Meanwhile it doesn’t seem to be being applied in the north in Iraqi Kurdistan. It feels as though there are double standards here. Or maybe the Ministry of Finance only actually has power over the ports of Basra?”

In fact the Iraqi government has already said in the past that it doesn’t have control over border crossings in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“We had to ask the officials at the Kuwaiti port to stop allowing imported cars in because we don’t have enough space for them in our parking lots,” says a senior official in Safwan, noting that all their car parks are full.

Central Bank held a meeting to clarify trusts customs rates

Central Bank held a meeting to “clarify” trusts customs rates A central bank, on Thursday, meeting with specialists in public the Authority for Customs, as well as taxes for clarification about the calculation of trusts customs established in the customs tariff law attributed to him, and stressed “the agreement” to determine the percentages of each, especially essential commodities substance. He said the Central Bank of Iraq, in a statement received “time”, a […]