Jordan sets conditions for importing Syrian products

AMMAN — The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Supply has recently set conditions and measures to issue importation licences for bringing in Syrian goods included on a list of permitted products.

Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Tareq Hammouri told The Jordan Times on Sunday that the decision was taken after Syria failed to respond to Jordan’s request regarding facilitating measures for the entry of Jordanian goods to its markets, stressing that the decision was not taken under any “external pressures”.

He added that if Syria reconsiders the decision on measures to allow in Jordanian products, then the government is prepared to reconsider its own measures and facilitate the entry of Syrian goods to Jordan.

The conditions stipulate that an application must be submitted to the ministry in order to issue a licence to import approved products, which is then forwarded to the ministry’s directorates to study and take the necessary measures, Hammouri said.

Under the conditions, the results of application studies and the recommendation of their approval or rejection would be sent to the ministry’s secretary general; who would in turn send the application to the minister to take the final decision, according to Hammouri.

Importers must adhere to the conditions set for issuing the importation licences and the list of approved goods, the minister said, adding that they also need to submit documents that prove that the importing facility is operational, registered and has at least five employees.

The new conditions set the licence validity period to three months, starting from the date of its issuance, the minister said, noting that to amend the data of an active licence, an importer must submit a written request.

The conditions stipulate that the name of the importer on a licence cannot be amended, the minister stressed, noting that all cases are eventually sent to the minister to take the final decision.

Jordan’s industrial exports to Syria dropped by 70 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, despite the resumption of normal flow over the land border crossing between the two countries, President of the Jordan Chamber of Industry Fathi Jaghbir said earlier in April.

At the time, Jaghbir said that the Kingdom’s industrial exports to Syria declined to JD19 million during the first quarter of 2019, compared with JD61 million during the same period in 2018.

He attributed the drop to obstacles and procedures imposed by the Syrian authorities on Jordanian exports, requiring the Syrian importer to receive an importation licence that allows importing certain quantities and goods from the Kingdom.

In addition, Jaghbir said, Syria has a list of a wide variety of commodities that are banned from entering the country under the pretext of protecting local items.

The Jaber/Nasib crossing between Jordan and Syria was back to business as usual on October 15 last year, after it was reopened for passenger and cargo movement under certain conditions agreed upon between the two countries.

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