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Algerian customs denies suspension of free exchange pact with the EU and Arab zones


Algerian customs has on Friday denied the suspension of the agreements of free exchange with the European Union (EU) and the member countries of the Arab Zone.

The country said the confusion is due to the instruction of the Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal requesting that some goods should be exempted from customs duties.

Algeria customs in a statement had specified that “the goods considered as null and void are the ones which concern exclusively products taken back in both notices of import licenses.”

In other words, it is the old certificates of import of cement and cars considering the introduction of the new legal regime concerning import licenses.

Head of Customs, Sherif Hammouche said the suspension concerns only products subjected to import licenses.

He said other products subjected to customs duty are not concerned.

In a letter sent on February 23 to the Managing Director of Customs, Kaddour Bentahar, the Algerian Prime Minister had notified the office that “all the delivered goods exempted from customs duties are considered null and void from January 1st 2016,” without specifying that it is only products subjected to import licenses.

According to the Algerian media, importers that appeared on February 23 to clear their products were requested to pay the difference between the product price rate and the valid price rate for the goods.

This includes goods coming from countries not bound by an agreement of free exchange with Algeria.

Algeria is the world’s sixth largest supplier of natural gas and the EU’s third largest via direct pipelines.

Gas, oil and mining account for nearly 97 per cent of EU imports from the country, with these industries dominating the Algerian economy and contributing to approximately 95 per cent of its total exports.

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