The Bahraini government had decided to slash customs duties on all goods to five percent from January, as part of moves toward the creation of a Gulf customs union, the official BNA news agency reported. Food products have been exempted from tariffs since last year.
The gradual cuts in customs tariffs over a period of three years is expected to cost Bahrain about 15 million Bahraini dinars ($40 million) in terms of revenue loss, the Director General of Customs Jassim Jamsheer told the Bahrain Tribune. Bahrain had earned over BD60 million in revenue from custom duties in the fiscal year 2000.
The unified tariff agreement, signed between the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) member states—Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—calls for the slashing of customs tariffs in phases starting in 2000, on the way to introducing a customs union in January 2003, and as part of a wider plan to establish a common market zone.
The accord classifies imports in to three categories: tariff exempted goods, basic products at 5.5 percent, and luxury items at 7.5 percent. — (menareport.com)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )