New Tariff Barriers: Importers of European Furniture Take Action
The importers of European furniture in Lebanon have decided to join forces by creating an association which started meeting with many officials this week. It will share with them the fear of the companies that an additional tax on the importation of furniture may be “very harmful” for the sector. They also insisted that the decision of the government “negatively affects the engagement of Lebanon in the international conventions” related to this sector.
The importers had already held a constitutive meeting to discuss the decision of the government issued on May 21st, 2019 which imposed tariff barriers on the importation of furniture. In collaboration with the Beirut Traders Association, they created an association for the importers of European furniture in Lebanon. It is meant to “handle everything related to importers and sellers of furniture and participate in the support and the protection of their rights.”
The meeting considered that the imposed tariff barriers “would be very harmful for all the furniture sector.” In addition, “Most of the importers are local furniture makers as well. Therefore, a tariff increase on importation will affect the imported furniture as much as the locally manufactured furniture if the concerned ministries don’t encourage exportation, don’t reduce labor costs and electricity bills, and if they don’t work on reducing interests on bank loans.”
Then, the importers insisted on the importance of “respecting the engagement of Lebanon to the international conventions related to this sector, namely Euro 1 and the Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade among Arab States. They also noted that the decision to impose tariff an additional tax could “negatively affect the engagement of Lebanon to both conventions.”
The meeting formed a committee whose goal is to represent the association before the political authorities. The association started its series of meetings on Wednesday with the visit of Mansour Bteich, Minister of Economy and Trade, and shared with him the opinion of the importers on this tax.