Despite opposition from dairy farmers and professional staff in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, import duties on butter will be canceled by administrative order for this year, sources inform "Globes." This means that butter can be imported to Israel in 2020, without import duties or import quotas.
The measure, which still requires the formal consent of Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon, was approved today by the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry of Finance has continually taken the lead in supporting the measure, so it will undoubtedly be brought to Kahlon for his official signature in the next 24 hours.
Deputy Attorney General Meir Levin issued an opinion that there was nothing preventing an administrative order eliminating customs duties on imports of butter to Israel in 2020 during an election campaign. A draft of the order was published for public comment, based on the view of the authorized parties that there was an essential need for this order as an administrative order for only one year.
Only one question now remains open: whether or not the state will demand that the importers sell the imported butter at the fixed priced for butter and declare that the imported butter is a "similar product." A decision on the matter is expected from the prices committee, which will be called upon to decide whether Israeli butter will be price-controlled and imported butter not price-controlled, both categories of butter will be price-controlled, or neither category of butter will be price-controlled.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on February 4, 2020
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