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Algeria will end import ban on mobiles, food, home appliances

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Algeria plans to lift a ban on imports of mobile phones, household appliances and food and introduce high customs duties in their place, its trade minister said yesterday, in a new attempt to generate more tax revenue to ease pressure on state finances.

Algeria began the import ban at the start of this year with the aim of reducing spending after a fall in energy earnings. The import ban replaced a licence system which the government had imposed in 2016, in a failed attempt to ease the imports bill.

“We consider imposing additional customs duties for finished goods. This is part of our search for (a) more efficient instrument,” the trade minister, Said Djellab, told a conference.
He did not say when the ban on imports would be lifted.

Energy accounts for 60 percent of the state budget and 95 percent of total export revenues.
Oil and gas earnings have almost halved since crude oil prices started falling in mid-2014, making a significant difference to state finances.