September 12, 2018 / 2:49 PM / 10 days ago

Egypt imposes new import tariffs on consumer goods

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt announced a raft of additional import tariffs on various goods, the official gazette said on Wednesday, its first such attempt at curbing dollar spending since 2016.

FILE PHOTO: Ships are docked in front of Suez Canal Authority in Port Said, Egypt July 29, 2018. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh/File Photo

The charges include an additional 20 percent tariff on machinery and equipment imported by tourist establishments, as well as increases to fruit juices and baby formula.

Egypt, which relies heavily on imports, raised tariff rates on a wide range of imports amid an acute foreign currency shortage in 2016.

The head of the Egyptian customs authority, Sayed Negm, said that 3,495 items of raw material and capital goods out of a total of 5,791 were not affected by Wednesday’s decision.

The same decree also reduced tariffs on production materials used by companies that assemble goods locally.

“The amendments come as part of an effort to encourage local industry and urge citizens to forgo non-essential goods. They will help improve the state’s revenues,” said Radwa El-Swaify, head of research at Pharos Securities Brokerage.

The measures come into effect on Wednesday, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said.

(The story corrects day new tariffs take effect to Wednesday, not Thursday in final paragraph.)

Reporting by Hisham Haj Ali and Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Alison Williams

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