Traders urge Customs Department to extend validity of customs tariff lists

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AMMAN — Representative of the clothing, footwear and jewelry sector at the Jordan Chamber of Commerce Asaad Al-Qawasmi said that clothing prices will continue to be stable during this summer season “if the customs tariff lists for evaluating the value of goods remain in force”.اضافة اعلان

Qawasmi told Jordan News that merchants are preparing for the upcoming Eid Al-Adha and Hajj season, counting on the return of expatriates for the occasion.

He pointed out that the demand for clothes declined after the end of the month of Ramadan “due to the weak purchasing power and low liquidity of citizens after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday”, and to a shift in priorities after this period ended.

According to Qawasmi, the volume of imported clothing, fabrics and shoes “since the beginning of this year, amounted to about JD90 million, which is about 10 per cent higher than in the same period last year”.

President of the Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate Sultan Allan told Jordan News that “the customs tariff lists guarantee justice for all”, stressing that the lists were created “in a practical and precise manner”.

He added that “work with these lists must not be suspended, especially since there is no alternative to them”, indicating that calculating tariffs based on them is “one of the most important factors that contributes to keeping commodity prices stable”.

He stressed that stopping calculating tariffs based on these lists “will create confusion in the market, especially since traders are comfortable using them”.

According to Allan, the Customs Department does not regard these lists as legal, “but I do not agree with this opinion, especially since they were created based on legal methods”.

Most goods, he said, are imported from the Far East, followed by Turkey, Arab countries, and Europe. He added that global freight rates fluctuate during this period, and that reflects on the prices of goods.

Former president of the Textile and Readymade Clothes Syndicate Munir Deyye told Jordan News that “we started working with the tariff lists in 2009”, and the agreement with the Customs Department regarding using these lists used to be renewed yearly.

“At the beginning of this year, they started being renewed on monthly basis and at the end of the current month, the lists may be suspended. If a decision is taken to extend the validity of these lists for the coming period, the prices will remain stable,” he reiterated.

If the lists are no longer used as the basis for setting tariffs, “there will be speculative trading, which could bring he prices of goods up”.

“Our experience with the tariff lists over the past years was successful, as it ensured the stability of the prices of imported clothes,” said Deyye, urging the Customs Department to continue working with the lists “until the end of this year so that traders can prepare for the winter season smoothly”.

He said that citizens are unable to bear more material burdens, and therefore, maintain the validity of the tariff lists until the end of the current year “is necessary”.

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