ALGERIA - New provisions restrictive to imports

The Algerian Ministry of Commerce has recently published a press release explaining the new rules for the import of finished products in Algeria starting from 1 January 2018 which tighten up the methods of access to the market for certain products.

Here is the link of the release:

Firstly, the system of import licenses on all goods is abolished except for passenger cars, freight and people. For these three categories an annual quantitative quota will be established. The novelty regards the fact that the licenses will be allocated through an auction mechanism, which will therefore entail the assumption of the related costs. This system will also apply for the allocation of licenses for the importation of the shares of goods provided for in the Association Agreement under the exemption regime.

The application of the internal consumption tax (equal to 30%) is envisaged for certain categories of finished products including salmon, dried fruit, spices, confectionery products, confectionery products, preparations based on extracts and essences, modems and decoders, fire alarms, alarm electrical equipment and micro-computers (All.1). It is also foreseen the application of duties (between 30% and 60%) on different types of products including: sunflower seeds, plastic products, kitchen ovens, water filtration equipment, drinks, cranes and other fitting apparatus, computer and telephone equipment, transformers and electric cables, food preparations and fruit juices (All.1).

Finally, the temporary suspension of the importation of numerous categories of finished products is certainly the measure that will have the greatest impact on exports to the Algerian market. In this case there is a wide range of agri-food products - including pasta, chocolate and other confectionery products, cheese, fruit and vegetables, meat (except for beef) as well as consumer goods - plastic products, furniture and other building materials such as marble, granite, ceramics and industrial products - agricultural tractors, wires and cables, cement, household appliances and telephones (2 Annex - 18-02 Executive Decree of 7 January 2018 containing the lists of products subject to suspension).

The suspension measure, as indicated by the Minister of Commerce, is temporary and will be subject to periodic assessments which should lead to a gradual elimination based on the trend in the trade balance.

In the same Statement of the Ministry of Commerce there are also specified some new procedures for imports into the country. First, according to a directive of the Central Bank, the bank domiciliations for the import of products intended for sale must be formalized at least one month before the date of shipment of the goods and must be guaranteed at least for 120% of the value of the transaction . In addition, applications for bank domiciliation must be accompanied by: phytosanitary or veterinary certificates issued by the Ministry of Agriculture for the importation of bananas, wheat, barley, garlic, beef and fish (with the exception of sardines); authorizations issued in advance by the Ministry of Commerce for the import of cosmetic products, personal hygiene and toxic products or those presenting particular risks; certificate of free circulation of the product in the country of origin or provenance, issued by the competent Authorities of the exporting country, certifying that the goods are freely marketed in the territory (3 Annex - Note of the XENGX-XHUMX December 26 Bank Association that summarizes these provisions).

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