Import reforms aim to cut prices

The reform aims to eliminate the need to set up special production lines for goods designated for the Israeli market.

The Ministry of the Economy plans to cut prices for a wide range of goods through the prices amendment reform, which will be part of the 2013 Economic Arrangements bill. The reform will bring the standards for many goods sold in Israel into line with international standards, "in order to increase competition and lower prices", in the words of the ministry's announcement today.

Currently, to obtain an Israeli standard, a special production line has to be established for many products designated for export to Israel. This imposes great difficulties on manufacturers, causing some companies to pass the cost of special production lines to Israeli consumers. The reform's objective is to eliminate this situation, to make the goods cheaper.

Among the products the prices of which prices can be expected to fall are laundry powder, shoes, carpets, sunglasses, faucets, sinks, toilets, shower stalls, ceramic tiles, light bulbs, locks, doors, bicycles, and children's board games.

The reform will be carried out by an amendment to the Standards Law (5713-1953) which will be included in the 2013 Economic Arrangements bill. The Ministry of the Economy says that the amendment will greatly facilitate the import of goods and will lower cost of the import process, thereby lowering the prices for many products by up to 10%.

The amendment will also reduce the "double penalty" imposed on consumers in the form of payment to two standards institutes at the same level. The amendment will make it possible to reduce the number of products requiring approval of the Israel Standards Institute, and approval will be transferred to the Ministry of the Economy and the Standards Commissioner, a process which will lower import costs and bring more importers into the market thereby increasing competition and helping to lower the cost of living.

In addition, the amendment means that importers will not have to pay twice for the Israel Standards Institute and a foreign standards agency, which will help small importers meet the costs paid to the Israel Standards Institute.

Minister of the Economy Naftali Bennett said, "This is an important step to lower the cost of living for the Israeli consumer, and remove barriers to competition in the economy. We hope that when the reform is complete, everyone will feel it. There is no reason that products, such as sunglasses, which have obtained an international standard in a country like Australia, cannot be imported to Israel and offer fair competition for the Israeli consumer.

"We have adopted, and we will continue to adopt the world's most advanced standards, and we will open the Israeli market to fair competition, from which the Israeli consumer will benefit."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on April 22, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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