European Furniture Importers to Take Part in Trading Sector’s protest on Thursday

They met with officials to explain the negative impact of decree no. 5497 on the sector

The Association of Traders and Importers of Furniture from Europe – ATIFE (under formation) announced that it will take part, on Thursday, in the symbolic protest organized by Beirut Traders Association and adopted by all economic bodies, in protest against any fiscal, administrative or legislative measure that would harm the sector.

In a statement issued on Monday, ATIFE revealed that the sector’s businesses will be closing their doors between 11am and 12pm on Thursday October 10, under the title #Together_to_save_private_sector.

The statement explained that an ATIFE delegation met with many officials to explain the hardships that importers will encounter in case of the implementation of the decree no. 5497 which imposes new customs with immediate effect and difficult legalization requests.

According to the statement, the delegation met the Industry Minister Wael Abou Faour, the Minister of Economy and Trade Mansour Bteish, the Director General at the Ministry Alia Abbas, the Chair of Parliament’s Finance and Budget Committee, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, MP George Adwan and Dr. Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Prime Minister Saad Hariri,

The delegation informed the officials of its concern about “the new burdens created and the additional certification fees and transactions” and warned that “these new measures threaten the sustainability of the institutions operating in the sector and their workers, under the stressful economic conditions”.

The delegation explained to the officials that “many varieties of European furniture imported by these institutions are not manufactured in Lebanon, especially since they are made of materials not available in the Lebanese factories, and therefore do not constitute any competition to the Lebanese industry.”

The importers insisted on the importance of “respecting the engagement of Lebanon to the international conventions related to this sector, namely Euro 1. They also noted that the decision to impose an additional tax could “negatively affect the engagement of Lebanon to this convention.”

The delegation appealed to the officials “to ease the burden of the institutions of this sector to ensure their sustainability, and to avoid depriving a large number of workers from their jobs and their source of livelihood.”

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