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Algeria adds 26 items to import ban list

People shop at Ardis supermarket in Algiers, Algeria November 13, 2017 [Zohra Bensemra / Reuters]
People shop at Ardis supermarket in Algiers, Algeria November 13, 2017 [Zohra Bensemra / Reuters]

Algeria has added 26 items to the list of goods temporarily banned from being imported into the country, Anadolu has reported. There are now 877 items on the list, which was introduced in an effort to cut imports and the foreign exchange deficit.

The items added to the list include foodstuffs, such as red and white meats, some kinds of fish, sweets and chocolate; household appliances, mobile phones and all kinds of cheese. Pasta, hygiene products, construction materials and cars are also banned, as are some fruits and vegetables, all kinds of nuts, soft drinks, juices, plastic and wood. Items on the list but ordered before the official decree was issued are not affected. According to the Algerian Ministry of Commerce, the list of temporarily prohibited goods will last for two or three years at most.

Despite the ban on imports, the amount of money leaving the country only decreased by $770 million in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period in 2017. The figures were released by the Customs Agency this week.

Minister of Trade Saeed Jalab said that the authorities intend to balance the banned products by a system of tariffs to be applied especially to locally produced goods and materials in order to protect national production. Algeria has been going through an economic crisis for nearly four years due to the decline of oil prices in the international market. The country is dependent on oil for 94 per cent of its revenue.

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