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Customs revenues drop 30% in 8 months of 2022

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AMMAN — Customs revenues fell by 30 percent between January and August this year, disappointing government hopes for shored up income after restructuring tariffs, predicting that would culminate in an increased purchasing power of citizens, a revival of commercial activity, and reduced smuggling.اضافة اعلان

Al-Ghad News quoted experts and workers in the commercial sector saying they believed that the government’s plan was undermined by economic recession resulting from a decline in the purchasing power of citizens, and local and foreign challenges facing Jordanian importers.

They stressed that high tax rates had an adverse effect on economic recovery, and that slashing the levy would stimulate business activity.

The Ministry ofFinance said revenues from customs duties at the end of August declined by 30 percent to JD142 million, compared with JD202.6 million recorded in the same period of 2021.

Finance Minister Mohamad Al-Ississ  said the decision to reduce and standardize customs duties will lead to a reduction in state revenues, “if we look at the issue in theory, but in practice, the smuggling operations taking place now will be greatly reduced when the customs obligation increases”.

“Therefore, we hope that this will reflect positively on the Treasury, and there will also be a benefit deriving from the increase in commercial and tourism activity,” he noted.

Earlier this year, the government said it decided to reduce and unify the customs tariff on several commodities. Imported commodities, like tobacco, vehicles, and alcohol were excluded.

The head of the Syndicate of Owners of Clearance and Transport of Goods, Daifallah Abu Aqoula, said that the difficult economic conditions, and the decline in the purchasing power reflected negatively on commercial activity.

Abu Aqoula said that the decline in customs revenues caused by an economic stagnation, and in turn pushed demand down, despite a decline in freight charges globally.

He said that the challenges facing importers included the defense orders that prevent the imprisonment of the debtor. That affected the circulation of checks among merchants, who have become more cautious because of the high risks involved, and a lack of liquidity.

“The economy is an interconnected chain, if one is affected, the imbalance will spread to everyone,” Abu Aqoula said.

He pointed out that four months ago, the effect became clearer with a modest business activity in the summer.

Riyad Al-Qaisi, who heads the General Syndicate of Electricity, Electronics, and Communications Traders, said the receding commercial activity led to a decline in imports.

He said that the high cost of diesel, hefty taxes, and low liquidity all contributed to an idle state in the business sector.

“The government should understand that the high taxes and the other costs on traders and importers should not be ignored,” he said.

He questioned how the government expects the purchasing power of citizens to be revived under the prevailing circumstances, while the wages have not been increased for several years.

He said that traders are selling commodities at less than their actual cost to generate cash.

Asaad Al-Qawasmi, president of the Garment and Textile Merchants Syndicate, insisted that the high tax is the reason for the decline in commercial activity, and in demand. He said that customs revenues did not rise because imports decreased in view of the prevailing conditions.

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